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With Uber in town, Fargo mulls deregulating taxis

FARGO - A request to raise taxi rates in the city has led city commissioners to rethink the way they regulate the industry in light of ride-hailing companies such as Uber.City Auditor Steve Sprague told commissioner tonight that they must deny Lu...

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FARGO – A request to raise taxi rates in the city has led city commissioners to rethink the way they regulate the industry in light of ride-hailing companies such as Uber.
City Auditor Steve Sprague told commissioner tonight that they must deny Lucky 7 Taxi Service’s request because city laws require all taxi companies to agree to a rate hike, which led him to wonder why the city didn’t let them set their own rates.
The law seems outdated, he said, because Uber drivers also provide rides for hire but the city is not allowed to regulate Uber; the state does that.
Commissioners agreed tonight to ask the taxi committee to consider changing taxi regulations.
Lucky 7 owners Jeff and Laurie Dodd said in their written request that, among other things, they want to raise the meter drop rate by $1 to $5.50 and the mileage from 20 cents per eighth mile to 20 cents per tenth mile. The Dodds said they’re having a hard time competing with Uber without explaining how higher rates would help. They did mention the pressure of higher costs of living, alluding to the pay drivers get.
The rate has not changed since 2008.
Sprague said he would prefer letting taxis set their own rates but cautioned that the city probably wouldn’t want them to be able to dramatically raise rates during peak-demand periods as Uber does.

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