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Board mulls taxicab fare changes

Charlotte’s Passenger Vehicles for Hire Board discussed Tuesday whether any changes should be made to the fare structure for Charlotte taxicabs.

Burhan Al-Shaikh, manager of the Passenger Vehicles for Hire Division of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, said he is surveying drivers and cab company representatives to determine if the current fare structure should be adjusted.

The city’s cabs charge a $2.50 “drop charge” for a rider to use a cab, plus another 50 cents for every one-fifth of a mile. Drivers can also charge $30 an hour while for a passenger or sitting in traffic between 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. A trip from Charlotte/Douglas International Airport to downtown Charlotte is set at $25.

Most of the taxicab company representatives said there should not be an increase to the current rate structure. The responses of the drivers will be provided at the board’s next meeting.

Board members also plan to discuss cab fares with tourism groups, such as the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.

The Passenger Vehicles for Hire Board governs taxicabs and limousines that operate in Charlotte.

Cab drivers this year garnered the attention of the Charlotte City Council after complaining that a Charlotte/Douglas proposal would limit the number of companies and drivers operating from the airport.

Despite those concerns, the council OK’d the airport to continue with its request for proposals process.

Some of the city’s cab drivers have also called for the city to adopt a medallion system that would allow drivers to operate independently, meaning without having to be affiliated with a cab company.

The council is not planning to make any decisions on a medallion system but is planning a review of the ordinance related to passenger vehicles for hire.

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