Ottawa taxi rates could increase 10 per cent in June

File photo: Blue Line Taxi (Tyler Fleming/CTV Ottawa)

It will cost you more to hail a cab in Ottawa next month.

A report for the community and protective services committee recommends a 10 per cent increase in the taxi meter rates, the first increase in taxi fares in 12 years.

If approved, the drop rate will increase $0.35 to $3.80, while the cost per kilometre will increase two cents.

City staff say the cost for a 10 km trip would increase to $24.42 from $21.78, while the cost of a 15 km trip would increase $3.80 to $34.88.

Coventry Connections and the union representing cab drivers sent a letter to Ottawa Bylaw and Regulatory Services Director Roger Chapman in February asking for the 10 per cent increase in taxi fares.

"Unfortunately, we are no longer able to continue to operate without an increase in revenues, which means a meter increase," said the letter signed by Coventry Connections President Marc Andre Way and Unifor Local 1688 President Ali Enad.

The letter says insurance rates have increased 35 per cent since 2012, vehicles are more expensive to purchase and fuel prices jumped from $1.28 a litre in 2012 to $1.63 per litre in February, when the letter was sent. On Tuesday, gas was selling for $1.99 a litre.

"As a result of these and other unavoidable cost increases, the Taxi industry is requesting a meter increase that would reflect an overall increase of 10% (combination of increased drop rate and per km rate)," the letter states.

The community and protective services committee will debate the proposal at its meeting on May 19. If council approves the 10 per cent increase in taxi rates, the fare hike will begin on June 11.

Airport fares

The letter from Coventry Connections and Unifor Local 1688 also asks for a new minimum fare for all trips starting at the Ottawa Airport.

"We are also requesting that a minimum charge of $20.00 be applied to all trips originating from the airport. We ask the flat rate to be added to the new tariff cards. We would be amending the pricing info at the airport," the letter states.

The report to council, drafted by Chapman, does not address the request for a minimum charge for trips originating at the airport.