Taxicab riders in most of Anne Arundel County will pay more for a ride starting next month after the County Council unanimously approved a bill this week to let company owners raise fares.
The bill was passed Monday and should take effect late next month. The increases apply to all cab rides that originate in Anne Arundel County, except for Annapolis, where taxi service is regulated by the city.
Taxicab company owners had argued that the higher fares would offset soaring gas prices.
The increases "were necessary for the industry to stay alive and to be profitable and for them to be able to have the ability to charge a fair price for their services," said Erik Robey, an assistant to County Council Vice Chairman Ronald C. Dillon Jr.
With Monday's action, fares will increase:
From $1.80 for the first one-seventh of a mile to $2 for the first one-eighth of a mile.
From 10 cents for each 20 seconds of waiting time to 20 cents for each 30 seconds of waiting time.
From a 50-cent surcharge on rides originating from Baltimore-Washington International Airport to a 90-cent surcharge on rides originating there.
The charge of 20 cents for each one-seventh of a mile driven will be expanded to each one-eighth of a mile driven.
In addition, county licensing fees for cabdrivers and companies will increase.
Emmett Willis, the owner of Associated Cabs, which operates 23 cabs in the county, said high gas prices cost cabdrivers about $20 more a day than they were paying a couple of years ago.
Cab fares were last raised in May 2000.