Last Updated on April 11, 2022 by YGK News Staff
The Kingston Taxi Commission has agreed to hike taxi fares by about 40% starting April 11th. The taxi commission says that concerns raised about gas cost and general inflation has prompted the commission to take “urgent action” to assist in dealing with the costs.
The new base fare for a taxi cab will be $4.50, from 4.25 in 2019. For every 135 metres, the rate will jump about $0.35, up from $0.25. A $0.35 charge will also be applied for and a $0.35 fee will also be applied for every 25 seconds waiting, also up from $0.25 in 2019.
While most taxi drivers were supportive of the move, some expressed concern that the increased cost could drive away business and push more customers towards using Uber. Those against the move cited taxi fare increases in 2008 as an example. In this situation, fares rose after gas prices increased dramatically. However, a month later, gas prices plummeted. Those against the move fear this could create issues if it were to happen again due to the more competitive nature of the industry in 2022.
In response, Commissioner Dianne Aziz clarified that the increase covers the “general inflation” and increased costs that taxi drivers have experienced recently. She also added that Uber has increased their rates as well.
“This is not just about a fare or rate increase, it is about reinvesting in the good people who operate or own taxicabs and to help bring sustainability to the industry, since the start of the pandemic, the taxi industry has been an essential service,” wrote Chair of the Kingston Area Taxi Commission to media.