Taxi Fares May Be Going Up

Howard Higa
Howard Higa
Lynn Fulk
Lynn Fulk

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Taxi drivers are one of the largest groups affected by gas price increases. But until now, they haven't been able to do much about it.

Cab drivers can't raise their rates without the city first passing a fare increase, and that may come very soon.

"We're looking at about two dollars more per average ride," said Howard Higa.

He runs TheCab, the largest taxi company in Hawaii. With 650 drivers working for him, he knows they're all feeling the crunch.

"They're paying in just gas increases alone, between $5,500 and $6,000 a year, so with this new price increase, we hope we can recapture some of that, " he said.

Higa expects the increase to be a modest one.

According to the city's licensing administrator, Dennis Kamimura, the proposed hike will include a forty cent increase for the first quarter mile, and another 20 cent increase for each additional mile.

Lynn Fulk has been driving a cab in Hawaii for the past 18 years. The cost of gas is now making him watch what he spends.

"I normally pump about 50 dollars in gas per day where prior to these increases I was doing between 20 and 30 dollars per day," he told us.

Although he's in favor of the hike, he's concerned, it may make things worse.

"I'm hoping I don't lose any of my regulars because of it," he added.

But he told us no matter what the increase, sometimes a cab is the best way to go.

"Especially those who like to go out and party at night. No matter what the cab fare is, it's still cheaper than a DUI."

According to the city, if the mayor approves the increase next week, it can go take effect as early as late July.