MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) — At the latest Myrtle Beach City Council meeting, taxi drivers expressed concerns about taxi fares and gas prices.
Currently it costs $3.50 to be picked up by a taxi and travel 1/8 mile. After that it costs 35 cents per 1/8 mile.
“That’s what we get paid period,” said Michelle Reine, a taxi driver from Myrtle Beach. “And tips. So there is no supplement. We don’t get paid extra. That’s it.”
The current proposal is to keep the base fare of $3.50, but each additional 1/8 mile and each 55 second wait time would cost 45 cents.
Additionally, passengers of more than one person per trip over the age of 15 will cost $1.
Myrtle Beach taxi owner and operator Corbin Esterak says it’s been about 15 years since the last fare increase and he’s feeling the expense very close to home.
“The problem is not the lack of business issue, the problem is inflation,” Esterak said. “Repairs are increasing, gas continues to increase. We saw it fall and start to come back up. When you bring $100 to the grocery store, it doesn’t stretch you like last year. You need $125 to $150 for what you bought last year.
“We need it. We’ve seen a 45% inflation rate in those 15 years. Name one other company that hasn’t raised prices in 15 years, there isn’t one”
City leaders agree that a rate change would be doable for local taxi drivers.
“Things have certainly changed in that time and gas has gotten more expensive here lately, so that seems like a reasonable request, so I think the council will probably approve it,” said Mark Kruea, head of the City of Myrtle Beach Public Information.
Council members will vote on the first reading of the taxi fare increase at the next meeting on Tuesday.
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