Taxi owners win approval for idling fee

Law allowing cabbies to charge 75 cents a minute to go into effect Aug. 19

Posted: Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cab company owners won approval for a fare increase Monday.

The Juneau Assembly approved new regulations that allow cabbies to charge 75 cents per minute to wait. The new fees also apply when idling in traffic.

Company owners said the increase was needed to offset high gas prices. All four local companies made the request.

Taxis currently charge customers an initial fee of $3.40 plus mileage, which is 22 cents for a tenth of a mile. The new law allows them also to charge 75 cents per minute when the cab is moving at less than 20.5 miles per hour.

Meters charge either for mileage or time, but not both.

The fee is considered standard in many U.S. cities, according to city staff, which also completed a comparison of Juneau's new fares to large cities around the nation.

The new law will jump the cost of an average five-mile trip in Juneau to $17.93, or more expensive than Miami, Boston, Seattle and Anchorage.

Taxi fares had not changed in Juneau since November 2006. Since then, gasoline prices went up from about $2.80 per gallon to more than $4.50, an increase of more than 60 percent.

The new law passed unanimously with little comment from elected officials.

The public did not participate in the meeting.

The new regulations will go into effect on Aug. 19, Municipal Clerk Laurie Sica said.



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