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City Council Committee To Discuss Cab Fare Hike

Taxi

A taxi stops to let off a passenger on Clark Street downtown. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) - Chicago City Council committee is meeting Thursday to consider an increase in cab fares.

The City Council Transportation Committee will meet at 11 a.m. to discuss the petition for a taxi rate fare increase.

Cabbies are asking for a 15 percent hike, in what would be the first fare increase in five years.

Right now, it costs $2.25 for the first ninth of a mile.

Last year, Chicago cabdrivers made their case unsuccessfully for a 22 percent fare hike, armed with a survey that shows they’re working 13 hours a day for $4.38 an hour.

The drivers also asked last year for a $1 fee for each additional passenger; a $1.50 fee for the “convenience” of using credit cards; $1 for every cab ride dispatched by phone; and a $50 “clean-up fee” for inebriated passengers who throw up in the back of the cab.

Cabbies were further infuriated when the Illinois General Assembly increased the tax they pay to pick up passengers at O’Hare and Midway airports from $2 to $4.

The hike was intended to boost the marketing budget of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.