CHARLESTON, W.V. – One West Virginia cab company operator says they'll do the best they can in the New Year when a lower fuel surcharge takes effect.
But C&H Taxi Vice President of Operations Jeb Corey says dealing with a cut from 27.82% to 6.69% is not going to be easy.
"I'm afraid we're going to lose drivers," Corey tells MetroNews. "Because if they're not making enough money off that meter, they're going to look for alternative jobs. They're going to get discouraged and, when we lose drivers, what's going to happen is the public is going to lose service."
Earlier this month, the state Public Service Commission agreed to reductions for the fuel surcharges for a number of carriers throughout West Virginia.
Limousine drivers will now be allowed to charge 6.69%, like taxi companies, down from the current 27.82%. The fuel surcharge for solid waste carriers will drop from 10.77% to 3.12%. Moving companies will be allowed to charge 3.22% instead of 11.13%, and towing companies will be limited to fuel surcharges of 3.67% instead of 11.31%.
The PSC approves revised surcharges twice a year, for January first and July first.
Corey says he knew a cut was coming. But, "I did not think it was going to be that great. I know fuel had decreased a lot but I didn't think we'd go from 27.82% to 6.69%."
Corey says it's a lot for an industry that has seen no permanent rate increase since the late 1990s. He says the only rate charges that have gone up in the past decade have been those fuel surcharges and this decrease, he says, will take cab rates throughout West Virginia back to where they were more than 10 years ago.
"We're going to see a pretty good drop on our meters so there's going to be less revenue to go around for the drivers," Corey says. His company operates in West Virginia's Capitol City.
"So, instead of having 25 drivers on the road at a time, I may have 20 or 15 because there's just not enough passengers or money out there per ride to support all the different drivers."
Source: West Virginia MetroNews