South Philly, West Philly screwed by new PPA airport taxi flat rate

Taxi drivers wanted to compete with Uber and Lyft; some passengers will now pay an extra 5 bucks.

Taxi cab
Flickr via SmittenKittenOrig

Thanks to the Philadelphia Parking Authority, airport cab rides for people in South Philly and West Philly are about to get more expensive.

This morning, the PPA, which regulates all Philadelphia cabs, announced it would be extending the flat-rate cab fare zone, effective July 1. The flat rate is $29.05, plus an extra $1 for each additional passenger on the way from the airport. As PlanPhilly detailed, taxi drivers had petitioned for the change, arguing it would make them more competitive against Uber and Lyft. For some Philadelphians, however, it’ll wind up adding an extra $5 to the bill of fare.

Under the new guidelines, the southern boundary for flat-rate rides will shift from South Street to Washington Avenue, and the western boundary from 38th Street to 48th Street. The northern boundary of Fairmount in Center City and Market Street in West Philly, and the eastern boundary of the Delaware River will stay the same.

And for those people living between 38th and 48th streets, and South Street and Washington Avenue, get ready to pay more. This afternoon, the fare for a Freedom Taxi cab ride from the airport to 1700 Carpenter St. cost about $23. From the airport to 4301 Spruce St., it was about the same price.

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Shannon Wink/Billy Penn
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Shannon Wink/Billy Penn

Freedom Taxi is one of the two largest cab companies in the city. The other major company, 215-Get-A-Cab, does not provide rates on its mobile app.

The new flat rates will also be much higher than Uber and Lyft prices for the area. An Uber from the airport, without any surge, would cost a person living at the Carpenter or the Spruce address about $18. A Lyft would cost $19.

We asked Marty O’Rourke, spokesperson for the PPA, whether the group intended to raise fares for Philadelphians by making this move. He said to send him an email and did not immediately respond.

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