Sunday, April 14, 2024

Taxi Companies Ask City Council to Approve Rate Increase

City of Williamsburg logoThe Williamsburg City Council will consider a new ordinance regulating taxis at its meeting Thursday.

The discussion is the result of requests by the four taxi companies licensed to operate in the City of Williamsburg to increase the mileage fee.

City Code gives the city manager the power to approve rate changes, provided the changed rates do not exceed the rates of other jurisdictions in the region.

In a memo to the council, City Manager Jack Tuttle said he was inclined to increase the mileage rate from 25 cents per 1/7 mile to 25 cents per 1/8 mile, a 14.3 percent increase. The rate was last changed in 2007. Both the current and higher proposed rates are below rates in Hampton and Newport News.

The companies have also made suggestions for other regulatory changes, including trip commencement fees, waiting time, extra passenger fees and the model year of cabs, according to Tuttle’s memo. However, the companies had differing requests in those areas and Tuttle is recommending only the rate increase.

Tuttle also announced a Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles study commissioned by the Virginia General Assembly regarding new technology-based transportation companies, like Uber and Lyft. Tuttle said the study could result in significant changes to statewide taxi regulation, and could be a topic in the city’s legislative goals and priorities in the fall.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed an order Aug. 6 allowing Uber and Lyft to operate in Virginia.

“This moving target is all the more reason to not make significant changes in Williamsburg’s taxicab regulations at this time,” Tuttle wrote.

The council will consider the ordinance at its meeting at 4 p.m. in the Municipal Building.

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