Cab Drivers Feeling the Gas Price Pinch

Houston City Council may consider raising cab fares to compensate for rising gas prices.  Laurie Johnson reports.
Cab Fares in Houston are set by city ordinance and can't be raised without council approval.

Jerry Brady owns Liberty Cab. He told Houston council members out of a total of 237 drivers, he lost 30 of them in April and May because of rising gas prices.

"My main concern is that we're going to have a situation in the summer where people are not going to get adequate service in the City of Houston. A lot of drivers are leaving for other cities where they can make a better living. And we've had a shortage of cab drivers in the city for some time anyway."

Brady suggests adding a flat $1.50 surcharge to the meter to compensate for the cost of gas.

Taxi fares are an often contentious subject at City Hall. But council members were receptive to the idea and Houston Mayor Bill White suggested they may take up the issue in the near future.

"I believe that to have sufficient taxi-cab service it needs to be profitable. I think it's important as a community that we have taxi-cab service. And I do think that our rates ought to take into account fuel costs."

The last time the city raised fares was in 2005. Gas was about $2.00 per gallon.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF- Houston Public Radio News.
Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...