Planning on taking a cab this weekend? Better take some extra cash with you.
Effective Saturday, fares in the District of Columbia have increased by 44 percent, from $1.50 a mile to $2.16 per mile. That's in addition to the base fare of $3. Drivers also will charge an extra $15 during snow emergencies and $25 for each hour you keep a cab idling.
The new regulations also allow drivers to call a $1-per-passenger fee for the second, third, and fourth passengers to get in a van cab, though that fee is capped at $3. Passengers will be charged 50 cents for each piece of luggage that the driver places in the trunk, though the commission says that particular increase doesn't apply to briefcases, purses, grocery bags, and similarly-sized items.
The hike is intended to bring taxicab revenues and average prices to where they were before May 2008 when the District moved from a zone-based fare system to a meter-based system. As part of the hike, several erstwhile fares were scrapped, including the $1.50 charge for dismissing a cab hailed by phone, and one dollar for carrying small animals outside of a carrier.
Cabbies whose vehicles have not been recertified by the city will have until May 31 to recalibrate their meters before they are ticketed.