Carbon tax won't raise rates, say Alberta taxi, car-sharing companies
Edmonton's Pogo CarShare says new levy could actually help its business once it kicks in Jan. 1
Taxi and car-sharing companies say Alberta's new carbon tax won't prompt them to raise the rates they charge customers for transportation.
"Right now there's no plan to do it," said Jon Wycoco, location manager for Car2Go in Calgary.
"Even into the future, at this time, we don't plan on raising our prices specifically because of the carbon tax."
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Kieran Ryan, president of Pogo CarShare in Edmonton, said the carbon tax is a relatively small cost among many costs of doing business and won't impact prices for customers.
If anything, Ryan said the extra 4.49 cents per litre of gasoline that kicks in as of Jan. 1 could help his business.
"We are a car replacement service," he said. "So, if the fuel prices go up, maybe people won't buy a new car. That could be positive for us ... if they use our service as an occasional, extra car."
Calgary's Associated Cab won't raise its fares either, according to president Roger Richard.
"In the current economic situation, we have to do more with less," he said. "We're going to absorb the costs."
Richard noted his company's fleet has been upgraded over the past five years and is now mainly comprised of fuel-efficient vehicles.
"Three-quarters of our vehicles are hybrids, and today it's all four cylinders," he said. "There's a big difference in consumption."
Trucking companies plan surcharge
Alberta trucking companies Hi-Way 9 and Grimshaw, meanwhile, have indicated they will add a carbon tax surcharge to customers' bills starting Jan. 1.
Grimshaw said it will implement a one-per-cent surcharge on all freight charges, while Hi-Way 9's surcharge will be 0.8 per cent.
The Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA), by contrast, has said it would prefer a revenue-neutral carbon tax over other forms of carbon pricing being contemplated in New Brunswick.
"It's more transparent, more controllable from a government standpoint and from our industry standpoint," Jean-Marc Picard, executive director of the APTA, said earlier this year.
"I think it's the easiest and most efficient method."
With files from Colleen Underwood and Jean-Charles Lanciault