Nova Scotia

Council recommends taxi rate increase

Hailing a taxi in Halifax could get more expensive after the city's Transport Standing Committee recommended an 8.9 per cent rate increase.

Hailing a taxi in Halifax could get more expensive after the city's Transport Standing Committee recommended an 8.9 per cent rate increase.

However, some cab drivers say the proposed increase is too late. Fares have not changed in Halifax since 2005.

"We will never catch up after seven years. It's not enough, but they told us if we didn't receive that, what would happen is that we wouldn't get anything. So we're going to take that," said Al DesLaurier of the Halifax Taxi Drivers Owners Association.

The transportation standing committee also discussed an amendment calling for an independant board to review cab fares every two years, said DesLaurier. 

"We wanted to do that five years ago and we dealt with a councillor who said we would never get that, we would never get a UARB or a third agency to look into our raise, and when Mr. Hendsbee said the UARB should take care of us, boy, he gave us a present there," said DesLaurier.

Many cab drivers say it's too expensive to do business in the city.

"Four years ago, I bought a new car it was a $14, 900. This year it was a $20, 000 car, Nothing goes down, it keeps going up," said driver Ronnie Davison.

"Seven years, by the time we get the raise through council members, stuff will be out of price again," 

Clarence Webb, another cab driver, agrees.

"Gas has gone up tremendously. I made more money driving a taxi 30 years ago than I'm making today," he said.  

Wednesday was only the first step in the process.

Regional council still has to vote on the proposed changes.

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