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L.A. City Council to consider increasing fares for airport taxicabs

March 29, 2011 |  8:43 am

Hailing a taxi

The L.A. City Council on Tuesday will consider a plan that would increase airport taxicab charges.

Under the terms of the proposed concession pact, the surcharge that taxi clients pay for rides from the airport would increase from its current level, $2.50 per trip, to $4. The fee provides revenue for LAX and the taxi management firm, Authorized Taxicab Supervision, which assigns taxis to terminals and manages an airport-area holding lot.

According to official estimates, the new deal would net LAX an almost fourfold increase in revenue — from the current payout of $700,000 per year to an average of $2.7 million annually during the 10 years of the contract. The new contract would start April 1.

Earlier this month, the Board of Airport Commissioners approved the new 10-year contract for the taxi firm, which has been at LAX for more than two decades. The board acted after receiving assurances from the company that it had corrected irregularities identified in the scorching 2007 audit by the city controller's office.

The audit found, among other things, that the taxi concern had made questionable payments to cab company managers, lawyers and contractors. The audit also found that the firm paid money to employees who were supposedly hurt on the job, but never filed paperwork required by state regulators.

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Hospital officials are California's top-paid public employees. Does that make sense?

--Patrick J. McDonnell

Photo: Taxi on streets of L.A. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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