ST. CLOUD -- It is going to cost you a little more to hail a cab in St. Cloud. The city council voted six-to-one to approve a taxicab rate increase of .20 cents per mile and an increase in the 'non-traffic waiting charge" of .20 cents per minute.

The new starting rate will be $3.50 and the non-traffic waiting charge .50 cents per minute.  The new rates will go into effect in 30 days.

The rate increase was actually asked for by some taxicab operators.

The council had two options on the table, either the .20 cent rate increase or deregulate cab fees altogether.

Elite Taxi owner Bill Baker was the only person who spoke during the public hearing, and he spoke against the idea of cab companies setting their own rates.

To deregulate the taxi rates I think that possibly could cause a problem for the public because there are some people who are limited with what they can spend.  And, if the companies are left to their own accord to increase their rates that could create a problem for people to be able to afford to ride a taxi.

The cab company operators asked for the rate increase, in part, because of the increased competition for ride-hailing services in town including the options and Lyft and Uber.

The city council had hoped the state legislature would take up the issue of regulating Uber and Lyft on a statewide level, but that did not happen during the recently completed legislative session.

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