Gas prices prompt taxi companies to ask Ann Arbor City Council for increase in maximum fare rates
In direct response to rising gas prices, Ann Arbor officials are entertaining a request from local taxicab companies to approve an 11 percent increase in cab fare rates.
The Ann Arbor City Council is expected to vote Monday night on a resolution setting a new maximum allowable rate in the city limits. The city's Taxicab Board recently voted unanimously to recommend to council an increase of 25 cents per mile — up from $2.25 to $2.50.
City Council Member Stephen Kunselman, D-3rd Ward, is sponsoring the resolution to have the council concur with the board-approved increase.
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
The council will hold a public hearing on the increase before it votes. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. on the second floor of the Ann Arbor Municipal Center at 301 E. Huron St. downtown.
At the city's Taxicab Board meeting on April 28, representatives of six taxicab companies spoke in support of a rate increase to deal with the increased volatility of gas prices.
The existing rate structure was approved by the City Council in May 2008. Since then, gas prices have soared above $4 per gallon and are expected to continue to rise, said Sarah Singleton, the city's Taxicab Board secretary.
Given the volatility in gas prices and the length of time it takes for rate changes to be discussed and approved, Singleton said the board opted to recommend a "significant rate increase" with the understanding that it only establishes a maximum rate companies can charge. If and when fuel prices are lower, she said, companies can opt to charge lower rates.
Singleton said the board doesn't anticipate considering another rate increase until gas prices are above $5 for at least two consecutive months.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at email@example.com or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's e-mail newsletters.