Passengers seeking taxis at night in Austin will soon pay an extra $1 per person as part of their cab fares due to a unanimous vote by City Council on Feb. 2.
The $1-per-passenger surcharge will apply to cab rides between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. The measure, which is meant to be an incentive for cab drivers who are independent contractors, will go into effect Feb. 13.
Council previously considered a $2.50 flat fee for night riders, but the proposal received negative input from stakeholders. Gordon Derr of the Austin Transportation Department informed City Council that the general consensus was in support of the $1 surcharge instead.
If the $2.50 fee had passed, Austin would have had the highest base fee for a single rider in Texas.
Yellow Cab of Austin President Ed Kargbo had testified that the $1 fee would be the most fair to both drivers and passengers.
"The $1 per passenger surcharge is a balanced and reasonable approach that provides a financial incentive for more independent contractor drivers to work during peak hours while not placing a great monetary burden on one single passenger," stated Kargbo.