By George W. Davis
Special to the Beacon Journal
GREEN: Taxi drivers and private transportation companies that serve city residents and passengers at Akron-Canton Airport will have until April Fool’s Day to be transparent with their fares or the joke could be on them.
April 1 is the date for implementing a new law requiring that transportation rates be posted conspicuously for passengers and for rate cards to be provided upon request.
Failure to comply could result in fines of up to $2,000 and up to 30 days in jail for individual drivers.
Additionally, affected drivers and companies must provide fare rates in writing to city Service Director Randy Monteith at least 30 days prior to implementation of those rates and changes, according to an amended ordinance that Green City Council passed Tuesday night.
Rates must be posted in cabs to ensure visitors and residents consistently pay the same amount for the same service and are not charged exorbitant or unlawful rates, council noted.
Airport President and Chief Executive Richard McQueen said officials have received numerous complaints from travelers who said they have used the same cabs to go to the same place more than once and paid different rates, some of which they considered excessive.
While saying there are a lot of good things going on at the airport, McQueen conceded that “one of the Achilles heels we do have is the taxi service.”
“We are not able to require cab companies to post rates. That can only be done by cities and counties in the state of Ohio.
“We do have our own sets of rules and regulations,” he said. “The cab companies have come a long way over the years, but what we are seeking here is that they have to post their rates not only with the cities, but also in their cabs clearly so people can tell what it is going to cost them to go from point A to point B as we move forward.”
McQueen said several cities have tried to set rates over the years, but in a free market this hasn’t been successful.
George Davis at be reached via email at email@example.com.