Flat rate proposal for airport taxi's stalls

Flat rate proposal for airport taxi's stalls

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Honolulu City Council has put the brakes on a plan that would have made a flat rate for cab fares from the Honolulu International Airport to Waikiki, in large part because they didn't know what a fair fare would be.

Twenty dollars? Fifty dollars? One is better for the customer. The other better for the taxi driver. The City Council still needs to navigate to the middle ground.

"This thing is a little more complicated than it appears because you are also dealing with the lives of many people and their livelihood," said Howard Higa, TheCab Owner.

Higa employs about 800 drivers. He suggests forming a steering committee to come up with a fair fare.

"We also need to make sure that the cab drivers can put food on the table," said Higa.

"Basically the taxi drivers run around and do whatever they want to do," said Robert Deluze, a cab driver in Honolulu for 23 years.

Deluze says the problem is with the few dishonest drivers and hotel doormen who demand a kickback before calling a cab. Then the driver makes it up by taking the long route or starting the meter early with foreigners who don't know.

"There are laws and rules on the books but there is no enforcement," said Deluze.

He says get rid of the bad apples and everyone wins. But that could be tougher than finding a flat rate.

"I would like to say at least 90 percent of the cab drivers are honest and that's the people I'm speaking for today," said Deluze.

Today the taxi flat fee bill stalled so it can be studied further.

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