Cabbies Propose Fare Hike, Fees

They want a 22 percent fare increase

By Ivanna Hampton
|  Tuesday, Dec 20, 2011  |  Updated 3:48 PM CDT
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Chicago cabbies want passengers to pay more to ride, swipe plastic and throw up in their cabs.

Fifteen hundred cabbies signed a petition asking the City Council to approve a 22 percent fare increase and other fees, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday.

They’re also requesting to charge a $1.50 convenience fee for passengers using credit cards, $50 fee for fraudulent credit card payments and $75 to clean up behind riders who vomit in their vehicles.

The last cab fare increase happened in 2005 when aldermen approved an 11.7 percent hike.

Thaddeus Budzynski, a cab driver who motivated the petition drive, said drivers have tried getting a fare increase for six years. In 2007, Budzynski said, fines were raised by 33 percent after a fare increase was denied.

“They tell us we’re ambassadors of the city, but we’re not getting treated like ambassadors," he told the publication.

Ald. Anthony Beale, chairman of the City Council’s Committee on Transportation and Public Way, and Rosemary Krimbel, the commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, declined to comment on the petition, the paper reports.

The push for a fare increase comes one week after Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed an overhaul for cab drivers. The mayor’s changes included drivers spending no more than 12 hours on the road and using more fuel-efficient vehicles on city streets.

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