The Alexandria City Council is poised to raise taxicab rates for the first time in five years later this month, hiking the cost of hailing a cab by a quarter and increasing the travel charge by 12 cents per mile.
And if you call a cabbie, then keep him waiting more than three minutes, it will cost you more, too.
The rates, if they pass as expected on Jan. 22, would make Alexandria taxi rides among the most expensive in the area. City manager Rashad Young had proposed simplifying the rates by eliminating differing charges for regular suitcases, heavy baggage, grocery bags and animals, replacing them with a flat 50 cent per bag charge.
But after hearing from taxi drivers and company officials in a public hearing Saturday, council members said they wanted all those charges restored.
The starting “drop” charge will go to $3 from $2.75, the mileage charge will rise from $2.04 to $2.16 per mile and the waiting charge will rise from $22.50 per hour to $25 per hour. The cabs are not required to accept credit cards in Alexandria.
About 750 cabs now serve this 144,000-resident city, although a number of them operate strictly out of Reagan National Airport.