Cincinnati City Council last week approved a motion brought forth by the Cincinnati Taxicab Advisory Commission that will implement changes to the design of the city’s taxicab industry, some of which will be seen as soon as July 1.
The efforts were spearheaded by Councilman Wendell Young, who believes the reform is a necessary measure to handle the recent growth and development in Cincinnati’s urban core.
Members of the Advisory Commission saw the World Choir Games, an event that will bring an inpouring of thousands of international visitors into the city, as a strong opportunity to lobby for change.
“We need a good, solid, safe, clean taxi system to compete with other cities our size,” says Alyssa Konermann, a member of the Advisory Commission and a representative from Young’s office.
The Advisory Committee plans three “phases” organized by priority to be implemented over the next 24 months; phase one is expected to be completed days before the World Choir Games commence on July 4.
Changes in the first phase include expanding the city’s arsenal of taxi stands in high-demand areas, expanding the city’s customer service hotline for taxicab feedback and complaints, increasing fares, placing clear signage in all taxicabs, mandating orientation and training programs for all taxicab owners and drivers and developing a customer “Bill of Rights and Expectations” intended to ensure fair, positive taxicab riding experiences.
The plan will implement a 40-cent jump in rates per mile, up to $2 per mile from $1.60.
The initial “drop” fee will also change from $3.40 to $4.
Future priorities also include garnering a fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles, improving taxicab accessibility for the disabled and installing credit card machines inside all vehicles.