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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor
NEWS ADVISORY
SUBJECT: Higher taximeter rates go into effect Oct.1, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
10/1/2008  7:45:00 AM
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Craig Leisy (206) 386-1296
Denise Movius (206) 684-9259
Cyndi Wilder  (206) 684-0909
Julie Moore  (206) 684-0909


Taximeter rates increase on Oct. 1, 2008
Distance charge will now be $2.50 per mile; flat rate to airport will now be $32

SEATTLE – Taximeter rate increases approved by the City Council in July go into effect today. The taximeter distance charge has increased to $2.50 per mile ($0.25 per 1/10 mile) from $2 per mile ($0.20 per 1/10 mile), and the flat rate from the downtown hotel district to Sea-Tac Airport has increased to $32, up from $28. The $2 per trip temporary fuel surcharge has been discontinued. The taximeter rate drop charge remains the same ($2.50 for the 1st 1/10 mile) and the time charge is unchanged as well (50 cents per minute). 

Because higher gasoline prices appear to be permanent, the city decided to roll the $2 temporary fuel surcharge into the taximeter distance charges. Now passengers who take the longest trips – and use the most gasoline – will be charged the most. In the future, a $1 temporary fuel surcharge may be authorized if the price of gasoline exceeds $5 per gallon.

The flat rate and new taximeter rates must be displayed on both taxicab rear doors and on the driver-side rear window inside the taxicab.

Taximeter rates were last adjusted on April 1, 2005, when the minimum charge and per-mile rates were increased, along with the flat fee from Seattle’s downtown hotel district to Sea-Tac Airport.

Today Seattle taxicab inspectors will be checking approximately 900 Seattle and King County taxicabs to make sure they have posted the new rates and their taximeters have been properly recalibrated. A security seal will be applied to each taximeter that passes inspection. Passengers who believe they may have been overcharged – or who have any other complaint 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.

There are 908 Seattle and King County taxicabs and approximately 2,900 taxicab drivers in Seattle. Drivers are dispatched via five taxicab associations: Farwest Taxi, Green Cab, Orange Cab, STITA and Yellow Cab. Sixteen of the cabs have temporary licenses issued as part of the wheelchair accessible taxicab demonstration project, which ends in December 2008.

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Department of Executive Administration

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