The airport commission is requiring taxi cab upgrades. The money spent on improvements could mean people will have to bring a little extra cash when catching a cab from the airport.
Two dollars adds up quickly for travelers who take cabs from the airport on a regular basis. The Capital Region Airport Commission says it needs to offset costs taxi companies have paid to upgrade their services.
Taxi cab drivers drop about $3,000 a year on access fees-dollars they must pay in order to pick people up and drive them to their destination. Now, the airport commission is asking the county to amend the taxi ordinance-requiring customers like Jay Patel to pay the fee.
"I don't see a problem with it," said Patel. "I think it's a common practice in Europe."
It's also standard in other cities according to Airport Spokesman Troy Bell. He says the airport commission entered new contracts with the taxi companies this summer requiring them to upgrade their cars, uniforms, and safety standards.
"It's the front door to the community," said Bell. "Here, there has been for many years desires from many different segments in the community- tourism and businesses- to make sure that we offer a first rate service."
The commission says it wants customers to offset some of those improvements. For one company, a sign on the inside window of the car will show customers they'll have to pay an extra $2 fee before the car even starts.
"That $2 will help me with whatever expenses I may have," said Yonas Habteworld with Richmond Flyer Taxi.
Taxi cab drivers say not having to pay the fee will save them thousands of dollars each year so they can keep their rides rolling. This is just a charge for people taking a cab from the airport- not to the airport.
Henrico County leaders will discuss the taxi cab rates on Tuesday, September 25 and they'll hold a public hearing in October.
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