The Up & Down World of Chicago Cab Fares

This spring the City of Chicago instituted a fuel surcharge for taxi rides. When gas is over $3.20/gallon it’s $1, and when it’s between $2.70 and $3.20 we pay an extra $0.50. Since April 28 we’ve paid a buck, but now that fuel’s going down so will the surcharge. Beginning Friday it will be $0.50.

The relief may be shortlived. The City Council has historically raised cab fares every four years and the last bump was in 2005. The United Taxidrivers Community Council has requested an increase of 16%. Since the drivers can only ask once a year, and the last request resulted in the surcharge, they have to wait until March.

What will happen if the fares aren’t increased? You’ll have to find another way to get around for a day. Peter Enger, secretary of the United Taxidrivers Community Council, said that 95% of surveyed cab drivers would support a strike for a full day, and then during rush hour periods until they get what they want.


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