A “PARTY tariff” for late-night taxi users is set to be approved in Edinburgh.
The basic charge for a cab in the city is currently £3 but a new, higher rate would kick in between midnight and 5am throughout the week.
Glasgow has already introduced late-night fares which start at £4.60.
The council is also recommending an across the board increase of all fares by 3.6%.
The document also argues that “clean up” fines for customers who make a mess of taxis should be raised to around £50. The current fine is around £20.
Raymond Davidson, secretary of the Edinburgh Taxi Association believes that a new higher tariff may encourage more taxi drivers to work past midnight to cater for the “late-night rush hour,” especially at weekends.
He said: “The reason behind it is to give drivers a bit of an incentive to stay out later and help get revellers home.
“We don’t yet know how much it could be raised by but I don’t think it would be a huge increase. I suppose if we give it the go-ahead we will look like the bad guys and it’s fair to say that it’s likely young people and students will be affected.”
James McAsh, president of Edinburgh University Student’s Association said: “ I think services like transport that students use should be as cheap as possible and a suggested increase in price is not a good thing for students. But it won’t just be students but a lot of young professionals as well.”
Paul Waterstone, of Scottish Licensed Trade Association, thinks that a price increase could affect the cities night-time economy.
He said: “It will hit young people disproportionately and it’s a difficult time for the night time economy already. I think there’s always a problem with people getting home at night but I’m not sure putting the prices up will make more taxi drivers come out and work.
“At a time when we are trying to get people out into the city centres it seems to be a bit strange to consider putting tariffs up.”
The new tariff is still being consulted on and will be discussed at Friday’s Regulatory Committee hearing at the City Chambers.
The latest fare review comes just under two years after the previous price rises, and three years after the controversial £1 drop off charge at Edinburgh Airport was introduced.