City Considers Hiking Cab Fares

Cab rides in Chicago could soon get more expensive, if officials follow through with a powerful alderman's idea to raise fares.

City officials say they are working on making changes to taxi regulation, mostly to improve safety, but they also are considering an increase in fares, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Alds. Ed Burke and Carrie Austin last year proposed a $1 taxi cab surcharge that would raise up to $70 million for the city. It would add $1 to all flag pulls that originate in Chicago.

"Many other major cities across the nation already charge more for cab rides," Austin said. "The City of Chicago needs to determine if higher fares could be absorbed to help balance our City budget."

The idea is back on the table, as Burke re-asserts the fare increase could generate more city revenue and prevent some of the spending cuts proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The changes also include new safety regulations.

City officials tell the Sun-Times they are considering adding a bumper sticker to all cabs that would encourage people to call 311 and report good and bad cab drivers.

Rosemary Krimbel, commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, said cab driver incentives also need to change. Currently, meters rack up more money when a cab is moving, forcing the driver to constantly change lanes, she said.

“We need to change that incentive,” Krimble said during City Council budget hearings. 

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