Birmingham City Council

Should Taxi Fares Be Increased Because of Rising Gas Prices? Birmingham Sets Public Hearing to Decide

Birmingham City Council meets 5.10.22 (Source: Council’s Facebook livestream)

The Birmingham City Council will hold a public hearing on June 21 to discuss raising maximum taxicab fares in response to rising fuel costs.

District 5 Councilor Darrell O’Quinn, chair of the council’s transportation committee, said the council had been approached several times by local taxicab companies — mostly zTrip — expressing concerns over rising gas prices.

“Those are costs that are borne by the drivers, so they have requested that we revisit the ordinance that sets the taxicab fare and have specifically requested consideration of a temporary surcharge to address the increased fuel costs,” he said.

Gas prices in Alabama have been increasing steadily this year and are currently averaging $4.57 per gallon. Birmingham’s current law sets the maximum taxicab rate at “three dollars for the first one-fourth mile or fraction thereof, and $0.25 for each additional one-eighth mile or fraction thereof.”

District 3 Council Valerie Abbott noted that the council has taken similar action in response to rising gas prices in the past. “The economy comes and it goes,” she said. “It isn’t unusual.”

Specifics of the proposed surcharge have not yet been determined but will be discussed at June 12’s transportation committee ahead of the June 21 public hearing.