Taxi companies can charge up to $2.50 per mile under new rate set by Ann Arbor City Council
Washtenaw County resident Thomas Partridge argued against an increase in local cab fare rates Monday night, but that didn't sway the Ann Arbor City Council.
In light of rising gas prices, council members voted in favor of a resolution setting a new maximum allowable rate of $2.50 per mile in the city limits — up 25 cents.
"Any increase in taxicab rates harms the most vulnerable residents first," Partridge cautioned. "These rates are of critical concern to the most vulnerable residents."
The flag drop fee — the flat amount charged in addition to the mileage rate — remains $3, and the waiting time fee remains at $24 per hour.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's e-mail newsletters.