Arlington taxi fares may rise

Hailing one of Arlington County’s 765 taxicabs may soon cost more.

The Arlington County Board is considering whether to raise the basic taxi fare by 25 cents and add another 50 cents for each passenger 12 or older. In return, cabs would be required to accept credit card payments by April 1, 2012.

If approved, it would be the first fare increase since 2008. The average Arlington cab ride is about five miles and costs $13.05, which would rise to $13.38 under the proposal. There are about 9,000 taxi trips daily in the county.

Even with the increase, Arlington County taxis remain cheaper than almost everywhere else in the region, except the District.

Children from 6 to 11 would no longer be counted as extra passengers, and the $2 per-mile charge would remain the same. Full-time cab drivers in the county make between $40,000 and $60,000 per year, on average.

The board plans Saturday to set a public hearing on the proposal.

The fare increase would cost the county an additional $12,000 per year to transport disabled residents by cab. Officials said they expect to be able to handle the added expenses within the existing budget.

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