The taxi will cost more from September

It’s not just gasoline that’s on the rise, taxi travel too. The Transport Commission approved, on Monday, an increase in fares which will be applicable from September 12.

The new pricing will cause prices to jump 18% on the day. Between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., an additional 15% will be added to the base rate.

“We had increases in the past of 6% in 2011 and 2.5% in 2018. So that was 8.5% in more than 10 years. So, it is certain that this increase, we expected it, given the inflation since the start of the pandemic”, noted Alexandre Morin, president of Taxi 2151, in La Baie.

Since 2018, the starting price has been set at $3.50. It will increase to $4.10 in September, plus $2.05 for every kilometer driven. To this is added the evening bonus.

However, this increase is far from satisfying the industry.

“I surveyed my members and I have 70% who are not happy with it. It’s because it doesn’t make up the shortfall. The Transportation Commission is 26% behind the consumer price index. The entire part of the profitability that was included in the department’s pricing is not there. So, an additional 7 to 10% would be missing. When we held the hearing on March 29, the price of gas was not what it is right now,” explained Serge Lebreux, spokesperson for the Association des taxis des regions du Québec. (ATRQ).

According to calculations by Taxi 2151, the price of gasoline has increased by 66% in one year, to the day. Filling one of their vehicles with gas was costing them about $1,000 monthly. It now costs over $1600. Many taxi industries deplore the fact that pricing does not come into effect until September.

“We have to spend the whole summer on the same rates with the price of gasoline increasing. It will be to pass this summer which will be difficult for us”, mentioned Alexandre Morin.

Now that taxi companies are aware of this increase, it remains to be seen how they will apply it to their taximeters.

“What we don’t know right now is how the taximeters will work. I don’t know if my taximeters in my taxis can charge two fares. So there, we are waiting after that to find out if we have to change our taximeters completely, ”questioned Mr. Morin, just like Taxis Unis, in Chicoutimi.

The labor shortage again forced the La Baie company to reduce its hours of service. The races are still suspended on weekends, between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m., since last March.

“During the day, I think we have seven drivers to fill six vehicles, but they are all part-time and in the evening we have fallen to three. So I have a driver or two drivers a day at night,” he continued.

“There, you have La Baie who suffered. Jonquière, Chicoutimi, it’s still not going any worse, but the guys don’t take it easy at night and you have Dolbeau and then Mistassini who no longer have taxi services and everything is going to fall one after the other. Tomorrow, there should be plenty of Ubers in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean that will move your people, but that won’t happen,” added Mr. Lebreux of the ATRQ.

It should be noted that the majority of taxi drivers are retirees who work part-time. Without them, the taxi industry would probably already be in peril.

“I think that, with us, it’s a matter of time before the taxi leaves. I hope that there is no one who will come back against us to say that we have no vehicles available, unfortunately that’s where we are at,” concluded Mr. Morin of Taxi 2151. .

The lack of available taxis due to the shortage of labor and the upcoming increase also raises fears of an increase in cases of drunk driving. The summer season is fast approaching and with the festivals to come, we recommend that you have a plan B or arm yourself with patience in case the wait is longer, because it may be greater this summer.

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