Supervisors: Taxi Rates Likely To Hold Steady

cabGood news for Fairfax County taxi riders: there will likely be no increase in fares any time soon.

At its Tuesday meeting, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is expected to vote in support of a county Consumer Protection Commission report that said the increase — which would raise fares nearly 15 percent — is not warranted.

The Taxi Association of Fairfax County filed a petition with the county last June seeking an increase in fares from $2.10 per mile to $2.50 a mile. That would have meant the cost of an average seven-mile taxicab ride would increase from $17.65 to $20.25, or 14.7 percent.

In its petition, the taxi association cited  increases in the Consumer Price Index as the reason for the increase, as well as increased competition from private transport companies such as Uber. A representative from the association also said the coming opening of Metro’s Silver Line from East Falls Church to Reston will take business away from cab drivers.

However, staff of the county Department of Cable and Consumer Services (DCCS) analyzed the petition and prepared a report to the Consumer Protection Commission, which said the increase was not necessary. Among the reasons:  fuel prices actually declined by 32 cents a gallon during the period under review. Also, granting the petition would make the county’s taxicab rates the highest among area jurisdictions.

The staff report said that given rate increases in 2008 and 2012 of 15 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively, increasing rates by an additional 14.7 percent would constitute a cumulative rate increase since 2008 of over 34 percent for an average trip.

Photo credit: Fairfax Yellow Cab

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