After 16 Months the DC Taxicab $1 Fuel Surcharge Expires Tomorrow, June 20

Photo by PoPville flickr user AWard Tour

From the Taxi Cab commission:

The $1 per trip fuel surcharge DC taxis have been collecting from passengers for the past 16 months under a temporary regulation will expire midnight Wednesday, June 20, 2012, the DC Taxicab Commission announced today.

First imposed on March 3, 2011 when the price for regular unleaded gasoline in the District was $3.45 a gallon, it was extended July 27, 2011, November 18, 2011, and then for a third time March 6, 2012, when the gallon charge had risen to $3.85.

Projections now are for a continuing decline in fuel prices throughout the summer. The current average daily price in DC is $3.66.

“The Commission will continue to monitor the cost of gasoline throughout the summer and fall and should conditions change it will consider appropriate action,” Ron M. Linton, Commission Chairman, said.

27 Comment

  • About time. Now if we could just “expire” all of the other bogus fees left over after the latest fare hike, DC cabs would start to resemble taxis in other major cities.

  • And it will be reinstated befroe the November election in time for Orange to secure the taxi vote.
    I’ll pay the gas surcharge when the taxi drivers pay a penalty for driving a car that gets less than 30MPG in the city.

    • I thought most cab drivers lived in MD? He isn’t securing their vote but he is securing their donations.

  • I always thought it was just a “mandatory gratuity” for short rides, the same way restaurants just tack on 18% for parties of 6 or more.

    I mean seriously, even if your land yacht only gets 12 mpg, if my trip is 1.5 miles and gas is $4 a gallon, that means you spend 33 cents a mile on gas, or 49 cents for my trip. So I just gave you a little “present” of free gas for the next trip, even though that rider will also pay you for it. When they added this surcharge, I just stopped tipping. As far as I was concerned, my tip was already on the meter.

    At least now without the charge the fares will go a little closer to where they were before cab drivers got a 66% raise a month or so ago. But I still won’t tip unless it is a truly *exceptional* experience – a clean, new-ish cab that smells fresh, a well dressed and well groomed driver who is polite, knows the city well, and drives carefully, and doesn’t make or receive any phone calls while I am in his cab. *That* deserves to be rewarded, but for everyone else to expect a per-ride bonus with a 66% raise in base pay in the same year is just crazy.

  • So what should the starting fare look like when I jump in a cab? I feel like drivers are still using the surcharges and 1.50$ per passenger and other arbitrary reasons to press that button of theirs on the meter. It feels like half the time they’re taking advantage of the 90% of riders who are oblivious to all these changes, expiration dates, extra fees.

    • claire

      I’d really like to know this as well…

      • Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but here are the rules for most rides:

        Base fare: $3
        Per mile rate: $2.16 (meter should be set to Rate 1)
        Per hour wait times: $25
        There’s a $0.50 surcharge for each piece of luggage place in the trunk.
        They should NOT be charging you an extra passenger fee (unless it is a van), the small animal fee, or any additional bag fees.

        • Wait so no extra passenger fee? So really the right number should be 0.00 most of the time?

          • Well, it would’ve been showing the $1.00 gas surcharge until today, but unless it’s a van, they should NOT be charging that extra passenger fee.

        • Yep, that’s what I thought too.
          I was charged $3 in extras for myself & 2 others in a cab, and waited until the end of the ride to say anything about it. When he said it was for the extra passengers, I pointed out that his (new) fare sticker said only vans could charge for extra passengers [Which is crazy. Sometimes a van is the only cab that I can get.].

          He said, “This is like a van. It’s a van or big car.” We were in a regular sedan. I said “I disagree”, and didn’t leave a tip, but did pay the extra fare as posted on the meter. We were in a rush and I didn’t feel like arguing.

          What I SHOULD have said — “Do you think the taxi commission would agree with that?” Hindsight, always 20/20.

  • The gas charge is just being replaced by the vague “bag handling” fee. If I put a bag in your trunk and you don’t do anything, you don’t get to charge me a dollar. There’s also a charge if you call a cab ahead of time to the tune of $3. When all is said and done, I’m looking at a $5 fee just to sit in the back of your vomit-smelling cab to go to the goddamn airport.

  • What are your thoughts on tipping a taxi driver? I never do …….but why should I tip them? They need to show me a reason to tip them (open/close the door for me, etc.) before I would do it.

  • i cant wait to argue this with a cabt..i cant stand the amish cab drivers…you know the ones stuck in the 19th century and dont take credit

  • Download the UBER App. You may pay a premium, but it’s so much better than dealing with the nasty taxis in this city!

    • Generally yes, I agree. But this weekend i got an Uber driver who had no idea where he was going and actually relied on me to give him directions since he couldn’t use his GPS properly. Sometimes you just have bad luck and get stuck with an idiot.

  • Maybe I’m the minority in this, but I always thought not tipping at all perpetuated bad behavior, unless there was actual bad behavior. If the driver is not on the phone, takes a direct route, and drives safely enough, shouldn’t we be tipping? It IS a service. Do you not tip bartenders and waitstaff at least a minimum amount, even if they didn’t jump through hoops or do a handstand for you?

    I have certainly tipped less with the $1 surcharge, but I don’t do this because it’s not a brand new car, or it didn’t smell like evergreen teas.

    • *Trees

    • “If the driver is not on the phone, takes a direct route, and drives safely enough, shouldn’t we be tipping?”

      Sure, but how often are all of these things honestly happening?

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