Taxi drivers calls for second strike

July 6, 2012 (CHICAGO)

A group calling itself the United TaxiDrivers Community Council is calling on members to stage a second strike on Monday, July 9th. The strike would start at 6 a.m. and last until 11 a.m.

United TaxiDrivers Community Council wants a fare hike. Some taxi drivers say new industry guidelines have raised lease prices for drivers but not fares.

"Just take a tour around some of the garages. You'll see lots spilling over with unused or under-utilized taxis because drivers can't afford to drive them anymore," said Peter Enger, secretary, United TaxiDrivers Community Council.

The city says its Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection reported no disruptions and normal levels of taxi service during the week.

According to a news release distributed by the City of Chicago, one of the changes included in a new taxi ordinance is a $1.00 permanent increase to the flag pull fare from $2.25 to $3.25, replacing the $1.00 temporary fuel surcharge that is subject to removal as gas prices come down.

"It's premature to ask the public to pay more for a ride until we've done everything we possibly can to improve the taxi industry. This new ordinance is a solid first step and over time will demonstrate tremendous value to drivers, passengers and pedestrians alike," Emanuel is quoted in the release.

United TaxiDrivers Community Council claims Chicago has the 18th lowest fare schedule of all major American cities and among the highest gasoline prices.

The city says the $1.00 increase makes Chicago's flag pull higher than Boston and New York City.

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