Some independent District of Columbia taxicab drivers, dissatisfied with a 10-cent fare increase granted them last week, said yesterday they will strike today from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Spokesmen for two cab associations, however, differed widely in their estimates of how many drivers would strike. The spokesmen also said that Maryland and Virginia cab drivers are not scheduled to join the protest.
The new rate increase became effective yesterday. It increases the cost of a one-zone ride from $1.20 to $1.30 and a ride crossing all eight city zones from $5.40 to $5.50.
Many cab drivers say the 10-cent increase is not enough because of inflation and the rising cost of gasoline.
Norman Saunders, spokesman for the Alliance of Taxicab Businessmen, said he represents about 2,500 drivers. Saunders said that "two-thirds of all the drivers in the city will honor the strike and picket strategic locations. About one-third of the drivers - the foreign drivers and the older drivers - will probably not strike."
Saunders estimated there are 7,000 cab drivers here.
But William J. Wright, chairman of the Taxicab Industry Group, an organization that Wright said includes most of the 62 cab companies and "85 percent" of cab drivers, said, "I don't think there will be very many drivers striking.
"We didn't urge the drivers one way or the other," Wright said. "We did pass out information about our position, which is, basically, we are confident that we will get another raise, either what was initially asked for or more, when the Public Service Commission meets in August."
Cab drivers, supported by D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, asked the commission in November for a 20 percent increase to help meet rising costs. In January the commission granted a 9.5 percent increase as an interim measure, citing President Carterhs wage and price guidelines. The other 10.5 percent increase would be considered later, the commission said.
Last week, faced with a citywide strike by angry drivers, the commission agreed to a 10 cent per person increase, not the 10.5 percent overall fare increase that the drivers had sought. According to drivers, the 10-cent increase amounted to a 2 to 8 percent increase overall.
Saunders said drivers will picket downtown Washington establishments and offices, including those of the Metropolitan Washington Board of Trade, the Public Service Commission, Union Station, and some of the city's largest hotels, including the Shoreham, the Washington Hilton and the Hyatt Regency.
"The sites were chosen arbitrarily, but they were chosen because in some way they affect the taxicab industry," Saunders said.
The 10 cent fare increase was granted Tuesday after cab drivers demonstrated on both Monday and Tuesday outside the offices of the PSC in the Cafritz Building at 1625 I St. NW.