County Council debates raising cab fares again

$1 ride increase may not cover recent rise in prices

September 09, 2005|By Bradley Olson and Phillip McGowan | Bradley Olson and Phillip McGowan,SUN STAFF

Newly passed legislation that raises Anne Arundel County cab fares by $1 a ride may not be the end to the increases.

Members of the County Council said Tuesday that they should consider another increase in light of rising prices caused by Hurricane Katrina.

As of Wednesday, cab rides went up by $1 in Anne Arundel County because of rising gas prices, but new increases are already in the works.

Robert H. Eades, owner of Neet-N-Klean Taxi, said $1 a ride isn't enough. He said prices for new tires and car washes have gone up, along with other upkeep costs that often depend on gas prices.

"That $1 really does no good," Eades said. "I'm not saying people don't want it, but compare a dollar to how gasoline prices have gone up. It's not enough."

Between the council's meeting in mid-August and the one held Tuesday night, gas prices jumped from about $2.78 to about $3.50 after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast.

County Councilwoman Pamela G. Beidle said Tuesday that fuel costs are causing a "crisis" for the taxi industry and implored the council to take up a more comprehensive bill that would address further fluctuations in price.

County Councilwoman Barbara D. Samorajczyk asked whether the council should amend the bill to increase the surcharge, in light of the recent price increase. But Chairman Ronald C. Dillon Jr. urged caution, saying he hoped "this Katrina blip works itself out."

County Executive Janet Owens, who requested the legislation on behalf of the County Taxicab Association, signed the bill Wednesday.

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