Some Nooga.com readers recently questioned why city leaders have input on rates for taxis, but officials said they only set the maximum rate to make sure consumers aren't overcharged.
"Like most cities, the City of Chattanooga grants licenses, sets safety requirements and determines the maximum rate (not what their rate should be, just what the maximum rate can be, due to the possibility for overcharges or fraud on customers if maximum rates are not set.)," Lacie Stone, communications director for Mayor Andy Berke, said via email, citing information from the city attorney's office.
The questions came up recently after a Nooga.com article about the revocation All-American Taxi's license to operate.
City ordinance mandates that taxi fares not be greater than $2 to start the meter, 20 cents for every 10th of a mile, 20 cents for a minute of wait time and $5 for each additional passenger.
According to court documents, All-American Taxi owner Randy Van Hooser was charging $2.50 to start the meter and 25 cents for each 10th of a mile. That's part of the reason Circuit Court Judge W. Neil Thomas upheld a January decision from the city of Chattanooga Transportation Board to revoke the license of All-American Taxi, according to archives.
When officials set the maximum rates, they take into account factors, such as gas, insurance, wear and tear and the cost of operating, Stone said.
"An interested party can always approach the City Council and request a change in the maximum rate," she said.
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