Houston Taxi Prices Going Up
by: Laurie Johnson, February 27, 2012 4:02:00 pm
An item on this Wednesday's Houston Council agenda calls for a rate increase for taxi services.
Chris Newport is with the city's Administration and Regulatory Affairs department.
He says the cab industry has been earning the same per mile charge since 2005.
"And their costs have gone up by about 27 percent, looking at Consumer Price Index information. So they requested a rate increase, we looked at the different price indices and what other cities do and determined that it was merited."
The cost for a non-airport trip will go up about 13 percent. Flagging a cab will go from $2.50 to $2.75. The mileage charge will also go up, from $1.80 to $2.20 per mile.
Newport says the city initially suggested a 17 percent increase, but the cab industry was concerned the price jump was too high
and instead opted for a 13 percent increase, with yearly rate reviews going forward.
"The City of Houston has historically kind of regulated the taxi cab industry kind of similar to a utility, because oftentimes they're the first thing that visitors to our city touch at the airports. They provide a broad need, they provide a service, we can mobilize them in an emergency. And we do cap them, they don't really have flexibility in what they can charge."
A study of taxi rates in the 50 most populous U.S. cities shows Houston has the lowest prices. The proposed rate increase would still put Houston's per mile rate below the national average of $2.37 per mile.