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San Francisco Raises Taxi Cab Fares To Among Highest In Nation

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Taxicabs wait for fares in front of the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5 / KCBS) — San Francisco transportation officials on Tuesday decided to raise taxi cab rates in the city to heights unseen in other parts of the nation.

The Municipal Transportation Agency’s board on Tuesday approved raising meter rates by 50 cents a mile, and rates for traffic delays or waiting times by 10 cents per minute.

The starting rate was also raised by 40 cents, to $3.50.

Proposals to add a fuel surcharge and a fee for dispatch requests were defeated.

SFMTA Chief Financial Officer Sonali Bose said the passed meter increases cannot be put into action until after July 1.

Once the increases do take effect, only Boston and San Diego will have higher cab fares.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

Chris Sweis, chair of the taxi advisory council and manager of Royal Cab Company, defended the meter increases as justified because the cost of the taxi business has gone up and the last meter increase was in 2003.

Board member Malcolm Heinicke acknowledged that it had been eight years since the last fare increase for cab drivers but added that he also hoped to see “service improvements” along with the fare increases.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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