PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia taxi drivers find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Ride-share services are costing them income, but any attempt to make it up with higher fares could doom them. The dilemma has gone before the Parking Authority, which regulates city taxis.
The Taxi Drivers Association has asked for a two-cent per tenth of a mile fare increase that would raise the rate to 25 cents. But when the Parking Authority held hearings on the request, the head of the taxi and limousine division, Mike Casey, says most of the testimony was against it.
“It’s divided,” Casey said. “There is not one uniform voice as to whether the rate should be raised.
James Walker of Freedom Taxi says that’s because the industry is afraid.
“The foot is on our neck,” Walker said. “If we raise the price we’re going to lose customers. If we don’t raise the price we’re going to lose drivers. They don’t know what to do.”
Walker says the very process is an example of why ride-sharing is decimating taxis. Ride-shares change fares by the hour and weather, with no need for regulatory approval. He wants a more level playing field.