The Washington Post yesterday erroneously reported the amount of the fare increase granted to Prince George's County taxi drivers by the County Council. The 30-cent increase, from $1.20 to $1.50 applies only to the first mile. The fare for subsequent miles will rise from 70 cents to 80 cents.
The Prince George's County Council yesterday voted to allow drivers of the county's 400 taxis to raise their fares from $1.20 to $1.50 a mile.
The increase, the first since 1975, also enables the cab companies to raise their fees for carrying multiple passengers on trips outside the county from 50 cents to $1 for each additional rider over age 6.
The council "made a survey of the surrounding Metro area taxi fares and found we were at the bottom," said councilman Frank P. Casula, a sponsor of the increase. "We decided a raise would be justified," he said.
Joseph Hanson, president of Blue Bird-Yellow Cabs, which operates 150 taxis in the county, said yesterday that the new rates "were just what we asked for."
Hanson said that taxi drivers had asked for the increase because of rises in the cost of new cars and gasoline.
"Drivers just can't make ends meet. Cars have gone up $300 to $400 a year, and gas has skyrocketed," Hanson said. "Wouldn't you start hollering if you hadn't gotten a raise in four years?"
The decision to increase taxi fares in Prince George's came after drivers in Washington and Montgomery County had sponsored strikes and work stoppages to protest the erosion of their incomes in the face of higher gasoline prices.Prince George's drivers, however, merely petitioned the council for their fare increase.
The rate-increase legislation adopted in Prince George's yesterday requires that taxis have their meters recalibrated and inspected by the county Department of Licenses and Permits before they begin charging the new fares.
Any future changes in taxi rates must be requested by more than half the county's cab drivers and owners, recommended by the Department of Licenses and Permits and approved by the county council.