The City Council last week introduced the first taxi fare hike in seven years and will vote on the measure (O-12-13) after a public hearing at its March 11 regular meeting.
The three taxi zones in Rahway currently are $4, $5 and $6, and the increase would hike fares $1 in each zone, making them $5, $6 and $7; essentially an overall increase of about 20 percent. Boundaries of the three zones are laid out in this Google Map.
Owners of the two Rahway taxi companies requested a fare hike in a December letter to the mayor and City Council. The last increase in taxi fares was November 2005.
Rahway taxi companies have requested a $1 fare increase, which would be the first hike in more than seven years.
In a Dec. 17 letter to Mayor Rick Proctor and “Councilmen,” Station Cab and Rahway Taxi seek an increase of $1 in each of the three zones within Rahway. A ride within Zone 1 currently is $4; Zone 2 is $5, and Zone 3 is $6. An increase of $1 would be an average 20 percent overall. Rahway senior citizens would continue to receive a $1 discount on fares.
“This rate increase is consistent with our increased cost of doing business and should take effect as soon as possible,” according to the letter, signed by Thomas Maye of Station Cab, Inc. and Howard Sager of Rahway Taxi. They cited changes since the last rate increase was approved in November 2005, such as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rising 18 percent and the cost of gasoline going from $2.25 per gallon to $3.29 per gallon — a jump of 46 percent.
Zone 1 is essentially from the train station to the borders of St. Georges Avenue, West Hazelwood Avenue and Lawrence Street; Zone 2’s borders are Madison Avenue, West Scott Avenue, Route 1 and the city’s southern border; Zone 3, basically covers everything outside of Zone 2 to the city’s borders. This Google Map might give a better visual description of three zones than those explanations in the municipal code.
Increasing taxi fares would require City Council to amend the city code. The earliest a fare hike could take place might be April; if the governing body introduced an ordinance at its next meeting in February, a public hearing and final approval would be at the March 11 meeting and take effect 20 days after approval.