City reminds cab companies about no bag fees - WRBL

City reminds cab companies about no bag fees

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People may have been over-paying for a cab ride in Columbus because of some fee confusion.

Taxi drivers used to be able to charge for luggage and grocery bags, but in 2004 the law changed.

Cabbies are no longer allowed to charge up to $0.25 for each grocery bag over four. They also can't charge for luggage.

But some of the roughly 20 cab companies in the area confirmed people still get charged depending on the driver. Others said they don't collect fees, while even others said they charge $1-2 for luggage.

In March, a woman complained to officials that a driver tried to charge her the grocery bag fee which prompted the taxicab commission to send out a letter on April first, reminding them of the rules.

But some cab drivers still don't know. Rodney Jordan has been a cab driver for nearly 15 years. He has never charged for bags, but thought it was still legal.

Lisa Goodwin, Deputy City Manager and administrative support for the Taxicab Commission, said the laws are available online for everyone, but they rely on citizen complaints to inform them when they aren't being followed. "Because we change laws all the time so there's no way that we can send things out to every interested party. What they have to do is kind of keep up," Goodwin said.

In the last couple months, the commission has launched a new program similar to mystery shoppers, which will help to ensure drivers are following the law. "We actually have silent shoppers going and taking and using taxicab services just to get a report card," Goodwin said.

But some drivers believe they should be able to charge baggage fees. "If you come up with something... a lot of baggage we should be compensated for the extra help that you're providing."

If you have been charged baggage fees or would like to file a complaint, call the city manager's office at 706-653-4029.


Sydney Cameron

Sydney joined the WRBL news team in December 2011 after working as a freelance reporter in Washington, D.C. More>>

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