Ottawa's union of taxi drivers says gas prices, higher insurance rates and increases in the cost of living are driving its request for a seven per cent fare hike.

amrik singh taxi drivers union ottawa

Amrik Singh is the president of Ottawa's taxi union. (CBC)

"Everything has gone up — we're paying roughly $8,000 per year in insurance, gas prices are close to $1.40 (per litre) and the companies have increased their fees," said Amrik Singh, president of Local 1688 Ontario Taxi Union.

The union has twice rejected proposals for fare increases since 2008, he said.

"We didn't want to put the burden on the public," he said.

"We were thinking not to ask, but we can't afford it anymore. ... Right now we're just working for insurance companies, gas companies and we're not making any money."

The request must be approved by a committee, followed by city council before it would go into effect.

Singh said the union's request is reasonable.

"If it's a $10 taxi ride, it would be $0.70 more. Instead of $10, you'll be paying $10.70, so it's not a big increase," he said. "We're not asking too much."