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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Taxi Fares Going Up In Toronto, As City Council Approves Hike

The rising cost of gas may be prompting you to leave your car at home in the morning, but for those who drive for a living that's not an option.

Cab drivers across the city have been feeling the pain at the pumps more than most, often having to absorb the higher prices themselves. But they're about to feel some relief, after Toronto city council voted to increase their fares.

The initial pick-up fee will bump from $3 to $4.

The meter rate is also going up. It used to be $0.25 each 170 metres, now it's going to be a quarter for every 155 metres travelled.

What that means for passengers is that a five kilometre trip rises in price from about $10 to $11.75.

Those asked on city streets how it'd affect their decision to take a taxi were for the most part supportive of cab drivers' woes.

"They have to make a living," Marc Rougeot noted. "You can't keep assuming the cost without being able to live properly."

Jen Garden adds, "I think that (will) probably have an influence on how much I'll be tipping. I tend to recognize the gas cost money and I try to treat the drivers nicely. (But) if they increase the fare, I'll probably not tip quite as much."

Cab drivers, many of whom own their own vehicles and must pay to fuel and maintain them, say this fare bump is essential.

"It will help us because the gas prices are going very high day by day," taxi driver Ehsan Danish says. "It's very necessary."

The increases are expected to take effect in mid-July. Meanwhile, airport limousine fares are reportedly also going up. As of August 24, Pearson International Airport passengers will pay more to get to the transit hub. The higher fees will be based on fuel costs averaged over 90-day periods. Depending on the amount, the cost of a ride will rise or fall. Additionally, drivers can charge $2 extra based on current fuel prices and up to $5 extra if gas spikes to the $1.80-$2 per litre range.

At the start of the year it cost cabbies about $1 a litre for regular fuel - now that same grade of gas is going for upwards of $1.30 a litre.

2008/06/25 | CityNews.ca Staff

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