Hail A Cab, Hail A Surcharge?

April 8, 2008

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Chicago aldermen and cabbies are fighting over how to deal with rising gasoline costs. Cab riders will likely be stuck in the middle.

In the latest cab-fare tussle, Chicago aldermen want to impose a gasoline surcharge. Here's how it would work; if gas costs more than $3.20 a gallon for a week, any ride would cost an extra dollar. Alderman Ray Suarez supports this, but says it may not help much.

SUAREZ: Gas prices are going to go up. I think by July, I think it's going to be  four dollars a gallon.

Cabbies like Fayez Khozindar are cool to the idea.

KHOZINDAR: We are not beggars who are sitting at the corner to accept one dollar for a surcharge.

Khozindar and other drivers would rather hike all fares by 16 percent. Cabbies say that will let them earn a better living and cover gas costs. An aldermanic committee rejected the cabbie plan and approved the gas surcharge. The full city council may consider it tomorrow.

I'm Shawn Allee, Chicago Public Radio.