Wednesday, May 14, 2008

rude surprise

This morning I needed to take a cab from the train station to work because I was having trouble with my ankle and finding it difficult to walk. Usually I enjoy walking, so I rarely take cabs. When I got to the office, I handed him enough for a $0.50 tip on the $3.60 fare. As I got out, he said "hey, wait a minute. There's a $1 surcharge." I asked, "What surcharge?" This was a trip of less than a mile with no extra passengers, no luggage, no extras of any kind. "$1 surcharge because of gas prices." I looked in my bag and came up with a bit more change, still $0.10 short of the $4.50 he wanted. "Sorry, pal, but that's all the change I've got. If you want more, you've got to break a twenty." He gave me a disgusted look and drove away.

Sheesh! It's not like I take cab rides every day. How was I supposed to know that this new measure had just passed - like yesterday? Found this item online when I got into the office.

A new taxicab surcharge linked to fuel prices is now in effect. If the price of gas remains $2.70 or higher for a week, the surcharge is 50 cents/trip; if $3.20 or more per gallon, then the extra fare is $1. (Looks like $1 for sure, based on the prices seen around town these days!) The cabbies would have liked an even greater fare hike to cover rising fuel prices, while riders, especially those making short trips, will be particularly affected (as the surcharge is the same for two blocks or twenty miles). This surcharge will be in effect for at least a year, when a permanent fare increase can be considered.

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