Bethel’s per-minute cab fare will officially remain in place until May 24.
The City of Bethel first enacted new cab rules on April 1 to protect drivers and passengers from the spread of COVID-19. They eliminated shared rides and changed the fare from a flat rate to $5 per ride plus $1 per minute. These guidelines had been set to expire on April 30, but city manager Vincent "Vinny" Corazza has extended the expiration date to May 24 under powers granted him by the COVID-19 emergency ordinance. At that time, Bethel’s cab rules would return to normal unless the council approves additional changes.
Corazza plans to introduce an ordinance to do away with shared cab rides permanently in case coronavirus concerns persist. This time, the new cab rules will go through the usual city council process. Corazza’s proposal would require cabs to install meters.
"Where it takes into consideration your distance that you travel plus the time, and gives them more of a consistent, fair schedule," Corazza said.
He said that the idea came from Kusko Cab co-owner Naim Shabani.
"I always go on the assumption that if I'm talking to Naim and he's got these ideas that he's, you know, having it for Kusko, and then he's also thinking of the other cab industry as well," Corazza said.
Corazza said that he will introduce the measure at the next regular council meeting on May 12.