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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Reminder: taxicab flat rate to airport increases to $40 effective today

8/29/2012  1:30:00 PM
Craig Leisy (206) 386-1296
Cyndi Wilder  (206) 684-0909

Reminder: taxicab flat rate to airport increases to $40 effective today

SEATTLE – City of Seattle officials reminds everyone the flat rate for all Seattle taxicab rides from the downtown hotel district to Sea-Tac Airport has increased from $32 to $40, effective today. The flat rate increase was authorized by legislation adopted by the City Council July 23, 2012, and signed by the mayor on July 30, 2012. The downtown hotel district is the area between Broad Street to Mercer Street to I-5 on the north, Elliot Bay on the west, South Dearborn Street on the south, and Boren Ave, to the I-5 freeway and then the freeway on the east.

The flat rate from the downtown hotel district to Sea-Tac Airport was established in 2000 to reassure out-of-town visitors that taxicabs were taking the most direct route to the airport and not overcharging them. Many cities have established flat rates between their downtowns and airports for the same reason. King County does not have a flat rate, so taxicab trips from Sea-Tac Airport are charged on the taximeter. The new $40 flat rate was based on the average taximeter fare from the middle of the downtown hotel district (for example, the Sheraton Hotel) to Sea-Tac Airport. 

A taximeter rate increase, also authorized by the recent legislation, will raise the distance charge from $2.50 to $2.70 per mile beginning on September 10, 2012, and will affect both Seattle and King County taxicabs. The King County Council is expected to vote on the taximeter rate increase on September 4, 2012.

The 688 Seattle-licensed taxicabs perform about 5 million trips annually. About one-half of all taxicab trips are dispatched by four taxicab associations – Farwest Taxi, North End Taxi, Orange Cab and Yellow Cab – and the other half are hailed or start as walk-ups at taxicab stands. Taxicabs are required to charge fares based upon the taximeter and the rate is set by city law. Issuance of new taxicab licenses is regulated, based upon demand.

Passengers with complaints about taxicab service should note the taxicab name and number, as well as date and time of day, and call (206) 296‑TAXI (8294). All complaints will be promptly investigated and resolved by the taxicab associations and city taxicab inspectors.


Taxicab Regulatory Program

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