By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Gas is as cheap as it’s been in years, leaving many Philadelphia taxicab riders to wonder why cabs are still adding a fuel surcharge to each ride.

“We’ve gotten a few inquiries about it, that’s for sure,” says the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s Taxi and Limo division director Jim Ney.

The reason for this, Ney says, is that the Parking Authority, which regulates cabs, adopted a permanent sliding surcharge in 2012:

“What it was meant to establish was, basically, a permanent component in the medallion taxicab tariff which reflects fuel prices, no matter how low or how high they are.”

The surcharge is designed to cushion cabbies from spikes in fuel prices. It also changes each month. Last month the surcharge was at 75 cents a ride.

Receipt from City Cab Company shows $.75 fuel surcharge (credit: Steve Butler)

Receipt from City Cab Company shows $.75 fuel surcharge (credit: Steve Butler)

“The surcharge actually has been dropping each month,” Ney says. “For the month of January, it’s 65 cents.”

Ney says the board may re-evaluate the fuel surcharge this year as part of its review of how medallion owners lease cabs to drivers.

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