A report from the University of Illinois finds Chciago cab drivers make, on average, about $4.38 an hour.
With the costs of insuring and keeping their vehicles going, most drivers spend 12 or more hours behind the wheel just to make ends meet.
Chicago cabbie Fayez Khozindar says he has to work every day of the week, often 16 hours straight, to support his wife and four sons, a Chicago Public Radio report said.
The group Khozindar chairs, The United Taxidrivers Community Council, is calling for taxi-drivers' income to match the state’s minimum wage by the end of the year. But, CPR says, the city is all but ruling out a fare hike any time soon.
Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Commissioner, Norma Reyes, says that the U of I survey took place when fuel prices were at historic highs. She claims recent drops in gas prices have increased what taxi drivers take home by roughly $2 an hour.
The City Council approved a fuel service surcharge for taxis in April 2008.
The following rates are currently in effect:
- The flag pull or initial charge to enter a cab is $2.25 for the first 1/9 mile,
- The additional fraction of a mile charge is $.20 for each additional 1/9 mile,
- Every 36 seconds of time elapsed is $.20,
- The flat fee for the first additional passenger is $1.00;
- The flat fee for each additional passenger, after the first additional passenger is $.50.
- An additional $1.00 surcharge will apply to all cab fares.
- Tipping is customary for good service.
Still, drivers say they want a 16 percent fare increase and a more centralized system of how they're dispatched.
Taxifarefinder.com can help rider calculate current fares from point A to point B.