High Gas Prices Fuel Taxi Cab Drivers' Worries

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As gas prices approach the three dollar mark, taxi drivers are nearing their breaking point.

"I would say anything over $3 is really going to injure the business a lot," said Marilyn Derry, manager of Action Taxi.

Every extra cent on a gallon of fuel has a direct impact on taxi drivers' profits.

"If it's busy we're okay. If it's not busy you go home with nothing," said Kathy Joanes, a driver for Action Taxi.

The Rockford City Council raised taxi rates to $1.80 per mile in January. Gas prices have gone up considerably since then, and taxi cab drivers say the rate increase has hurt their business as much as it's helped.

"Customers aren't willing to pay the price we're charging now because of the price increase. They're more willing to walk or take the bus, so it's cut down on business for cab drivers," said Derry.

Taxi drivers often work 12-hour shifts, so they can't take on a second job.

"I wouldn't sleep. I couldn't do that," said Joanes.

Gas prices have flat lined at about $2.95 per gallon in Illinois over the past three weeks. In Wisconsin a gallon of fuel costs about $2.94. Experts predict significant supply uncertainties will continue to fuel high prices at the pump.