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Number of airport taxis should be cut

October 07, 2011

The new minimum taxi fare that was proposed for Bob Hope Airport is unreasonable for Burbank residents. It serves to punish us for living close to the airport while rewarding taxi drivers and their companies.

The taxi coordinator at the airport was even quoted as saying, “this is not good for the taxi driver to collect just $10” (“Minimum $15.50 fare set to hit taxi customers leaving Bob Hope Airport,” Sept. 16).

If I'm not mistaken, the airport first and foremost is a service to residents of the Los Angeles area, not a cash crop for taxi drivers.

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My house is not within walking distance of the airport, especially with luggage, and a typical fare to my house is around $8. Most trips from the airport are with a bitter taxi driver. It’s not uncommon for them to complain about the “short” two-mile trip.

In a couple of cases, I've had a driver argue about the route to take because he's chosen a longer route. On another, the driver tried to double-dip with the initial charge, adding $2.50 when the meter already included it.

If a driver is courteous, I will give him a tip that takes the fare to about $11 or $12, but their common rudeness makes the tips rare.

The new minimum fare provides no benefit to the city, its residents, or even the airport. The minimum fare only increases the profit for the taxi drivers and their companies.

If the drivers are so concerned about the limited number of trips they take, perhaps there's too many of them waiting in the queue. A better solution might be to reduce the number of taxis waiting at the airport so they have a better chance of increasing their number of trips.

Ken Spickler

Burbank

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