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City Working to Combat Price Gouging by Taxis


Salt Lake City is trying to put a stop to price gouging by taxi cab drivers who are chauffeuring passengers away from the Salt Lake International Airport.

Salt Lake City’s contracts with existing cab companies like Yellow Cab and City Cab expired last fall—and some cabbies have reportedly taken advantage of the situation by inflating the cost of airport rides, charging sometimes double the normal rate.

David Everitt is Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker’s Chief of Staff. He says the contracts require the companies operate 24/7 and accommodate people with disabilities. He says there haven’t been complaints about access.

“There’s less of a need there to have a contract but certainly more of a need around the pricing and expectations and consistency around what it costs to actually take a ride,” Everitt says.

Everitt says the administration is looking into future contracts with cab companies and in the meantime, working to set up a maximum rate for certain geographic zones. 

“I don’t think enforcement will be a problem once it’s established and clear to all transportation providers and people who are using them at the curb that that’s the expectation,” Everitt says.

Just as Salt Lake City’s contracts with cab companies expired in the fall, the city council passed an ordinance to open up the airport to any transportation service. Airport officials announced last week they would limit the number of taxicabs that can wait at the airport to 25. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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