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File #: 13-1001    Name: Second Reading of an Ordinance to Propose Taxicab Fare Adjustments
Type: Ordinance Status: Agenda Ready
File created: In control: City Council Legislative Meeting
On agenda: 1/22/2013 Final action:
Title: Passage on Second Reading of a Proposed Amendment to the Taxicab Code to Change Taxicab Fares. [ROLL-CALL VOTE]
Attachments: 1. 13-0911_Attachment 1 Biennial Taxicab Industry Review.pdf, 2. 13-0911_Attachment 2 Biennial Review of the Alexandria Taxicab Industry.pdf, 3. 13-0911_Attachment 3 Renewal and Amendment of Certificates.pdf, 4. 13-0911_Attachment 4 Traffic and Parking Board Biennial Review and Findings.pdf, 5. 13-0911_ Attachment 5 Taxicab rates final ordinance, 6. 13-0911_Attachment 6 Ord Taxicab Fares cover sheet.pdf, 7. 13-0911_Attachment 7 PowerPoint Presentation Biennial Taxi Review January 8 2013.pdf, 8. 13-1001_After Items
City of Alexandria, Virginia
DATE:      JANUARY 16, 2013
Passage on Second Reading of a Proposed Amendment to the Taxicab Code to Change Taxicab Fares.  [ROLL-CALL VOTE]
ISSUE: A Updated Recommendation to Amend the Ordinance and Change Taxicab Fare Rates.
RECOMMENDATION:  That City Council amend the ordinance to reflect changes to taxicab fares.
DISCUSSION:  On November 26, 2012, the Traffic and Parking Board held its biennial taxicab review as mandated in Section 9-12-31 of City code. The review was conducted in consultation with the City's taxi industry and resulted in a series of recommendations including simplifying the fee structure and increasing fare rates.
The most recent adjustment to the City's taxicab fares was in 2008. Since that time, the cost of living has increased by nearly 10 percent. The proposed rate increase is expected to increase driver income by three to four percent. This adjustment attempts to balance driver needs against community needs. The present $0.75 per trip fuel surcharge will terminate once these proposed fares are enacted. A more detailed analysis of the fare proposal can be found in Attachment 3.
The Board with consideration of input from City staff and representatives of the taxicab industry made the following recommendations -  
1.      Simplify the taxi fare structure by combining the suite case and trunk charges into a luggage handling fee;
2.      Eliminate the charge for animals and grocery bags;
3.      Increase the drop charge from $2.75 to $3.00;
4.      Increase the mileage charge from $2.04 per mile to $2.16 per mile; and
5.      Increase the waiting charge from $22.50 per hour to $25.00 per hour.  
Current and Proposed Fares
Service                   Current Fare                  Proposed Fare
Drop                        $2.75                        $3.00
Mileage                  $2.04/mile                  $2.16/mile
Waiting                        $22.50/hour                  $25.00/hour
Passengers                  $1.25                        $1.25
Suitcase                  $0.50                        Subsumed by Luggage Handling Fee
Trunk                        $2.00                        Subsumed by Luggage Handling Fee
Grocery Bags                  $0.33/bag                  Eliminated
Animals                  $1.00                        Eliminated
Snow                        $5.00                        $5.00
Luggage Handling Fee      ---      --                        $0.50/bag Max $5.00
On January 12, 2013 City Council held a public hearing to consider staff's recommended changes to the taxi ordinance. After public testimony, the City Council deferred adoption of the ordinance to January 22, 2013 and asked staff to revise the ordinance as follows:
1.      Retain the current start point of the "Waiting" fee to begin three minutes after the scheduled pick up time.
2.      Change the "Suitcase" fee to a "Luggage" fee and provide definition. Luggage is defined as each suitcase or similar piece of travel luggage exceeding a linear dimension (L + W + D) of 45 inches or other bags of any type with a grip handle in excess of two bags placed in the cab trunk or rear of the vehicle, $0.50 if handled by the driver, plus an additional $1, if carried by the driver to the door of a single-family residence, or the main entrance of any building other than a single-family residence. The maximum charge for all such items shall be $5.00.
3.      Retain the current bulky item "Footlocker" fee with a better definition and specify that the item be to be placed in the trunk or rear of the cab. Footlocker is defined as each trunk, footlocker, duffel bag or other bulky or heavy item exceeding a linear dimension (L + W + D) of 62 inches, placed in the cab trunk or rear of vehicle and handled by the driver, the charge is $2. There will be no charge for wheelchairs, walkers, crutches or other items used to assist persons with disabilities.
4.      Retain the current "Grocery bag" fee.
5.      Retain the current "Animal" fee.
6.      Make the effective date of the new ordinance March 1, 2013.
Current, Proposed, and Final Fares
Service                   Current Fare      Proposed Fare (Jan 12)                  Final Fare (Jan 22)
Drop                  $2.75            $3.00                              $3.00
Mileage            $2.04/mile      $2.16/mile                        $2.16/mile
Waiting                  $22.50/hour      $25.00/hour                        $25.00/hour
Passengers            $1.25            $1.25                              $1.25
Suitcase            $0.50            Subsumed by Luggage Handling Fee      ---
Trunk                  $2.00            Subsumed by Luggage Handling Fee      $2.00
Grocery Bags            $0.33/bag      Eliminated                        $0.33/bag
Animals            $1.00            Eliminated                        $1.00
Snow                  $5.00            $5.00                              $5.00
Luggage Handling Fee      --            $0.50/bag Max $5.00                  $0.50/bag Max $5.00
FISCAL IMPACT: The proposed taxi fare adjustments are expected to cost the City an additional $50,000 per year: $17,000 for senior taxi service and $33,000 for DOT Para-transit taxi service.
Attachment 1: City Manager's Biennial Taxi Industry Review
Attachment 2:       November 26, 2012 Docket Memorandum:  Biennial Review of the Alexandria Taxicab Industry
Attachment 3:      November 26, 2012 Docket Memorandum:  Renewal and Amendment of Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity
Attachment 4:      November 26, 2012 Traffic and Parking Board Annual Review Findings and Recommendations
Attachment 5: Ordinance (revised)
Attachment 6:  Ordinance cover sheet
Attachment 7: PowerPoint Presentation - Biennial Taxi Review January 8, 2013
Mark Jinks, Deputy City Manager
Richard J. Baier, Director, P.E., LEED AP, Director, T&ES
Chris Spera, Deputy City Attorney
Jerome Fletcher, Special Assistant to the City Manager
Sandra Marks, Acting Director, Transportation Planning, T&ES
Bob Garbacz, Division Chief, Transportation, T&ES