EL CENTRO, Calif. - Local taxi cab owners said current rates are not fair for them or their fares.
El Centro City Council plans to call a special meeting with local taxi companies in the future to discuss possible use of taxi meters.
Mayor Cheryl Viegas-Walker said, “We have an opportunity to work collaboratively with our taxi cab companies in the next several months. The rate will continue at six dollars with the option to charge less if you want to, but not more.”
Froylan Medina, owner of American Taxi Care, said they need taxi meters to keep up with the industry.
“If you don’t like to increase the payment to $7.50, let’s put taxi meters. It’s better for everybody.”
He said the cost of doing business is just too high.
“Everybody everywhere in California they have taxi meters, except the Imperial Valley. So, that means we’re way behind. We’re only making about five, six dollars an hour, the drivers,” Medina said.
Mario Bustamante, Yellow Cab Company, disagrees.
“We oppose the $7.50 raise in the price, even the new price at six dollars. We’re not going to raise our rates. We’re going to remain at five dollars and four dollars for senior citizens,” Bustamante said.
Council Member Efrain Silva questioned a letter signed by several taxi owners which read the council had disrespected them at the previous meeting.
“In no way did we disrespect your industry or the taxi drivers. We in no way mocked you or looked down upon you or discriminate you,” Silva said.
Medina said he’ll keep insisting for taxi meters until he’s forced out of business for lack of a profit.
“With taxi meters it would be fair for the people and fair for us,” Medina said.