Cab ride to airport (or anywhere in Omaha) could soon cost more

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Posted: Saturday, April 19, 2014 12:00 am

A cab ride in Omaha will cost more if state regulators approve a rate hike request.

The company that manages most of Omaha's cab fleets wants to raise its per-mile rate by 5 percent. Rates would go up to $2.31 per mile from $2.20, on top of the $2.95 drop charge, which would not change.

Rates for people over 60 would also increase 5 percent, to $1.77 per mile from $1.68.

The public can comment on the proposal at a hearing scheduled from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday. People can comment at the hearing location, the Nebraska Public Service Commission offices at 1200 N St. in Lincoln, or via a live video feed in Room 207 of the Nebraska State Office Building, 1313 Farnam St. in Omaha.

The commission would vote at a later date.

The rate increase was requested on behalf of companies including Yellow, Checker, Cornhusker, Safeway and Happy Cab, all of which are owned or managed by Mark Mitchell.

“It's needed because we haven't had an increase since 2011,” said John Davis, director of operations for the companies.

Rising costs include an integrated point-of-sale system inside cabs and an app that lets users call a cab with their smartphones.

The companies recently raised lease rates for drivers by 5 percent. The fare increase goes directly to the drivers.

In 2011, the companies initiated a $3 fee charged when customers pay with a debit or credit card to cover the cost of processing.

Another company, City Taxi, did not join in the rate request, but its rates also would rise, said Mark Breiner, director of the commission's transportation department. He said the commission requires uniform rates in Omaha.

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