Taxi drivers

Arlington taxi drivers get limited respite from record gas prices | news/arlington

On May 14, Arlington County Board members approved a surtax on taxi fares to help taxi drivers survive the high gas price environment in which the county currently finds itself. country.

There will now be an additional $1 per trip added to the final fare in effect from June 1 through November 30. The surcharge, requested by local taxi companies, is recommended by county government staff and has been backed by the Transportation Commission.

(The extra dollar will go to drivers, if they are independent contractors who pay for their own gas.)

The Arlington surcharge will be added to current fares, which start at $3 and then increase at a rate of 36 cents for every sixth of a mile flown. These rates have not changed since 2016 and will be reassessed in 2023.

Arlington is playing catch-up: The District of Columbia government approved a similar surcharge for taxis in that jurisdiction in mid-March. On April 11, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors passed a $1 per trip surcharge.

The local taxi industry in recent years has been significantly impacted by the emergence of ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft, and has been further impacted by a drop in ridership during the COVID crisis.

As a result, the total number of taxis licensed by the county government to operate has increased from 847 in 2017 to 477 in 2022.

Also on May 14, county council members voted to increase the legal age of taxi vehicles from the current 10 years to 12 to 15 years, depending on the type of vehicle.

The county government is also working to promote the availability of wheelchair-accessible taxis, County Council Chairperson Katie Cristol said, as they provide a lifeline for some residents and are often not available through Uber. Lyft and others.

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