Taxicab Fares To Increase In Frederick City

They have not been raised since 2012.

Frederick, Md (KM) Individuals who use taxis to get around in Frederick City and the County will have to dig a little deeper into their wallets. A resolution to raise the start rates for passengers from $2.80 to $4.00 was approved on Thursday by the Board of Aldermen. The rate for the first mile traveled goes up from $4.70 to $6.00. Then it’s $2.00 for every mile traveled after that, up form $1.90. . If the distance is less than a mile, the  fare will be broken into 20 increments of 10-cents each.

Jenny Henneberry, the City’s Special Vehicle Coordinator, says the taxicab fares have not gone up since 2012, and it’s been very difficult for local cabbies to compete with ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. “In the hopes to lead current and future taxicab drivers toward economic stability, the recommended taxicab fare rates should help  them compete with the rising industry of the ride-share companies,”: she says.

Stacey Sistrunk from Bowie Transportation, says it’s been difficult to make ends meet with the current rates. “As taxicab driver and a business owner, we suffer with all of the high gas rates, parts rates and insurance rates. Everything has gone up,” she told the Mayor and Aldermen on Thursday.

William Bowie, also of Bowie Transportation, says he understands how these increases could affect passengers who are not well off, and depend on taxis to get around. “I know this is hard on poor people who use the cab system. But it’s something that we have to some type of increase because everything around us has increased tremendously,” he said.

Alderman Kelly Russell noted that they are assistance programs for those who use taxis to get around. “There’s also a taxicab access program. Some of companies work with TransIT. Customers get a voucher that is worth is $100 for a $20 expenditure and so that helps them to subsidize some of these rides,” she said. “So there are assistance programs out there, and if people have questions about that, please feel free to reach out.”

She also noted that TransIT bus rides are free.

The Aldermen approved these new rates by a vote of 3-0. Alderwoman Katie Nash and Alderman Ben MacShane did not attend last Thursday’s meeting.

The new rates come  from  recommendations made by  the city’s Taxicab Commission. But the Aldermen changed the start rate as recommend by the Commission which was $3.50. That was to make sure that the start rate  and the new recommended $2.00 fare per  mile does not add up to $6.00. The start rate of $4.00 and the new $2.00 per mile does add up to $6.00.

Other parts of the new taxicab fares include a $2.50 surcharge for calls originating between 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM. The snow emergency surcharge goes up from $3.00 to $6.00. And children two to four years of age can ride with when accompanying a passenger paying a fare.

By Kevin McManus