The Alliance of Taxicab Businessmen yesterday proposed new cab fare rates for the District of Columbia that would raise the recently increased cost of a cab ride by another 20 percent. Officials of the group, which claims to be the largest organization of cab drivers in the city, said they would present their proposal to the Public Service Commission on Thursday and plan to take a strike vote next Saturday if the PSC does not react favorably.
"The PSC has got to learn that they don't have the same old head-scratching Negroes driving cabs," said Alliance vice president John Bugg. "They better look at us again. We're businessmen out here to make some money."
Under the rate schedule proposed by the alliance, which includes about 600 drivers, the 20 percent increase would be added to a 9.5 percent increase that was granted to drivers by the Public Service Commission Jan. 17 and took effect last Sunday.
Frederick J. Conway, president of the cab drivers' group, characterized the PSC's week-old increase as "grossly inadequate." and said he plans to ask the city government to remove taxicabs from the purview of the PSC and place them under the authority of the transportation committee of the City Council.
Conway said taxi drivers in his group feel that the PSC is "not familiar with the (taxi) industry and its problems."
Under the alliance's proposed rate increase, a businessman taking a cab from his downtown office to the Capitol, a one-zone ride, would pay $1.60 instead of the current $1.20 fare. Before last Sunday that ride cost $1.10. The price of a four-zone ride, to outlying areas of the city such as Anacostia and Chevy Chase Circle, would increase from $3.00 to $3.60, under the cab drivers' plan. Previously that ride would have cost $2.75.