Planned taxi fare hike in Kingston, Ont. scaled back after pushback from drivers

A planned 40 per cent taxi fare hike in Kingston has been scaled back after pushback from cab drivers in the city.

The Kingston Area Taxi Commission had announced they would be raising fares to compensate for higher gas prices, but drivers opposed the size of the hike, saying it was too much.

The commission called a special meeting Monday to make changes.

“The Commission wishes to thank members of the industry and the Kingston Community for their input on the fares. In particular we acknowledge the work of Amey’s and Modern City Taxi in providing the Commission with a survey of their driver’ views on appropriate fares,” a statement says. “We recognize that they are the most affected by and hear most about what fares our Community would like to see.”

Starting May 16, the first 135 metres of a cab ride will cost $4.25 instead of $4.50 as planned, and each additional 135 metres will be an extra 30 cents, down from 35.

Some other fees are going up. Baggage fees for large items will start at $2.50 instead of $2. Specific requests for vans for passengers will be $3.50, up from $2 and the excessive cleaning fee will rise to $100, up from $80.50.

The new 20 per cent hike puts the numbers more in line with what drivers have called for

Drivers said the proposed 40 per cent hike would have made them less competitive, especially against ridesharing companies like Uber.

--With files from CTV News Ottawa's Kimberley Johnson.