Cost of a cab ride could go up by 30 per cent in CBRM as gas prices continue to rise

The cost of a cab ride could soon go up by 30 per cent in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

CBRM council has proposed a plan to help cab companies offset the rising cost of fuel.

Senior’s advocate Bernie Larusic says he understands the need to put fares up, but wonders who will help those already struggling to make ends meet.

“Seniors haven’t had an increase of 30 per cent in anything if you calculate it over the last 10 years,” said Larusic.

“These people need to get to their appointments and to go pick up their food, all of these things. I’m concerned.”

Gordon MacDonald, a CBRM councillor, says he supports the increase.

“The owners are very concerned about how the increase will affect their customers,” he said.

MacDonald says cab companies have no choice but to raise fares.

“The cost of fuel is costing them more than they’re bringing in on these trips, so they’re between a rock and a hard place,” he said.

The Halifax Taxi Association says a temporary fee increase of $1.30 on the meter was added Tuesday to help with fuel prices.

“The idea is it’s still manageable for the consumer, but that additional fare, times 10 or 20 a day, will help us make ends meet,” said Dave Buffet, president of the Halifax Transit Association.

United Way Cape Breton CEO Lynne McCarron says the organization will look to the government for funding to try and fill the financial gap.

“A lot of these folks have fixed income, so it means something else is going to have to give,” said McCarron

Public hearings on fare increases in the CBRM will be held over the next two weeks. CBRM council has scheduled a special meeting for March 25, at which time it’s expected they’ll vote on whether to increase fares and by how much.

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