Greenwashing Masks Boston Cab Fare Hike

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
greenwashing masks boston cab fare hike

Our friends over at Autobloggreen fall straight into the Boston Police Department's PR trap: "Boston taxi fleet to be hybrid by 2015." While it is certainly true that the taxi licensing department is following New York City and San Francisco's example in requiring its cabs to go gas – electric, the more important news (at least to Bostonians) is reported by The Globe: "A Boston taxi trip will now cost $5 for the first mile and $2.80 a mile after that, up from $2.40 – one of the highest rates in the nation." Yikes! If you're a reasonable tipper, that works out to about $20 for a five mile trip. (Hey, the Steel Workers' unionized cabbies wanted $3 a mile.) No wonder the cab companies aren't screaming blue murder about the required changeover. How the drivers will take to the no-cell phone yakking (except for taxi biz and emergencies) rule is a whole 'nother story. In fact, I had the Commissioner himself in the back of my cab the other day…

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Jerome10 Jerome10 on Sep 02, 2008

    Holy crap! I thought Chicago taxis were getting expensive.... $5 for the first mile?! $2.80 per mile after that?! Lets just say my cab riding days would quickly be over if prices here got that bad. Lets see, I get $0.585 back per mile for work. These guys are getting minimum $2.80?! Cabbies and their companies probably love this. Meanwhile they don't realize that driving and paying to park (assuming the parking rates haven't gone sky high) is likely getting a whole lot more appealing than taking a cab. And of course there is still the train and bus, which in Chicago still costs you just $2 per trip.

  • Djkronik57 Djkronik57 on Sep 02, 2008

    First rule of getting around Boston: Never take a cab. Second rule of getting around Boston: Never miss the last train home.

  • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on Sep 02, 2008

    Market for fake hybrid badges is going to be out of sight.

  • Southbostoncab Southbostoncab on Sep 23, 2008

    Some Fun Facts that will help you wrap your minds around this. 1) Most Boston Cabs are owned by large feel garages who rent taxis to drivers on 12 hour shifts. The cost to rent a Hybrid will be an additional 18.00 over the current 77.00 to rent a Crown Victoria. In addition the driver must pay sales tax, gas and an optional insurance fee. The option being if your not willing to buy insurance they rent the cab to someone who will. This means that the average driver will have to gross about $125 before he makes a dime 2)Boston has a small population of around 700,000 people. The entire metro area has a population of around 4 million. The other cities and towns that surround Boston were already higher and still remain higher. These taxis often make trips into the city limits of Boston and try to pick someone up while they are there. People were already and still are paying higher rates for what amounts to an inferior service. 3) A new clause in the rules will now allow Taxi owners who make money by renting their taxi out to shift drivers to save an additional 20-100 dollars weekly by leaving Radio dispacth services. This savings combined with the extra money in rent will almost entirely offset the cost of purchasing hybrids within one year.