What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to baird.helgeson@startribune.com.

City might skip taxi fare hike

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: August 30, 2012 - 1:20 PM

In order to avoid having the fifth most-expensive taxis in the country, Minneapolis will likely freeze its meter rate for one year.

The City Council is expected to vote voted Thursday to bypass a scheduled Oct. 1 meter rate hike from $2.75 to $2.85 per mile. That increase would have made Minneapolis' taxi cab fares the fifth-highest in the nation, according to a city report.

Number 1? Honolulu, by a long shot, at $3.20 per mile.

The City of St. Paul has proposed moving to $2.75 per mile from $2.20. Airport taxis are already at $2.75 per mile.

These meter rates in Minneapolis are merely a ceiling, however, and many companies charge less to entice more customers. That's especially important these days, with so much competition on the road.

Zach Williams, owner of Rainbow Taxi, said in May that most of the major companies stopped increasing their rates when the city reached $2.50 a mile.

Yemane Mebrahtu, president of the Minneapolis Taxicab Drivers and Owners Association, said they have no problem with the rate freeze. But he believes the city needs to do a thorough study of the financial health of taxi drivers and bar companies from undermining the meter rate (by using a lower rate or or increasing weekly leases on drivers).

Here's a breakdown of taxi rates in comparable cities, as compiled by city staff.

 

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