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Pembroke's taxi fares on the rise

By Stephen Uhler, The Daily Observer

Pembroke's taxi fares are rising for the first time in nearly a decade.
During Tuesday's meeting of the planning and development committee, representatives of the four taxi companies appealed to council members to allow them to increase their fares, in order to keep up with rising costs.
Colleen Sauriol, the city's planning and building department manager, said a request has been received from the four taxi cab companies within Pembroke asking for an increase. During a review of the files, it has been determined that the rates have remained the same since 2009.
She said the taxi companies would like to increase the rates as follows: with the present starting rate of $4 rising to $4.60, and every kilometer following increasing from $2.30 to $2.90
This would mean an average fare for a two kilometer route would be increased from $6.30 to $7.50.
“The taxi cab companies cite increases in gas prices, inflation, insurance, auto parts and maintenance as well as the minimum wage increase as reasons why they would like the rates to change,” Sauriol said.
Dan Smith of Danny's Taxi said in order to survive, all cab companies need to raise rates. He said their drivers work on a commission basis and depend on the taxi rate for their livelihood.
“It is time and it's necessary,” Smith said.
Deputy Mayor Ron Gervais wondered if this matter of the fares could be reviewed with the taxi operators on a regular basis, perhaps once every three years.
“This way, we don't end up waiting for nine years before discussing fee changes,” he said.
The committee unanimously voted to approve the fare changes.
The taxi fare changes will be incorporated into a revised taxi bylaw to be brought before city council at the Feb. 20 council meeting.

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