mercredi 9 janvier 2008

La prise en charge baisse à $3.00

Taxi fares dip down

Max Harold, The Gazette

Taxi fares will be going down Jan. 26 to reflect the lower federal goods and services tax, the Quebec Transport Commission has announced.
The federal GST was lowered by one per cent to five per cent on Jan. 1.
The start-up charge to take a taxi will decrease from $3.15 to $3, but the cost per kilometre will stay at $1.45 per kilometre, Richard Angers, a spokesperson for the commission, said.
The change may take a month in some cabs, since Quebec's 8,295 taxis have until Feb. 24 to adjust their metres, a cost they will have to bear themselves.
Dominique Roy, president of Diamond Taxi, which has 1,100 cabs in Montreal, said the cumulative cost to taxi owners would be more than $800,000.
"It costs about $100 to adjust each taxi meter," he explained.
Dory Saliba, president of Co-op Taxi, with 330 cars in Montreal, said taxi drivers are "feeling beaten down" by the rising costs of gas and maintenance.
The drop in fares to reflect the lower GST "makes them feel like nobody represents them," he said.
"I don't understand the logic" of the Quebec Transport Commission, he said.
But Angers said the commission has been attentive to taxi owners' costs.
The last rise in taxi fares came after a spike in gas prices following Hurricane Katrina in the fall of 2005, he said. Katrina shut down refineries in the Gulf of Mexico and oil prices rose.
The average price of gas per litre at the time was $1.11 per litre, Angers said. The average price last fall was $1.05.
"This is not a drop in revenue for taxi drivers, it's just a drop in the amount of taxes they remit to the government," he said.
When the GST was lowered to six per cent in 2006, taxi fares were actually increased by one per cent to reflect rising costs, he said. The effect for the public was that fares stayed the same, he said.
The commission will review taxi fares again if there is another spike in gas prices, he said.
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