Taxicabs may charge for big parcels
My wife and I returned from a trip and used the airport taxicab service from Honolulu International to our condo. At our destination, our two bags were offloaded and the driver approached us. The cab's meter read $29.20 and I tendered $33 to the driver, who looked like he had been cheated. He stated that he charges for all bags loaded into his vehicle, plus he deserves a tip. I cannot describe how I felt, especially after paying almost the same amount to a Charley's Taxi for a ride to the airport several days earlier and NOT paying for any bags. Is this "bag charge" legal? Is the state Transportation Department aware of this nickel-and-dime procedure and condoning it?
Answer: The state Department of Transportation has contracted with AMPCO Express to manage Honolulu Airport's "Open Taxi Management System," which allows drivers from all taxi companies to pick up passengers from the airport.
However, a transportation spokesman said complaints about taxi drivers or charges should be directed to the city.
Taxicab regulations are found in Chapter 12 of the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu.
Written complaints about cabbies or cab charges should be sent to Taxi Control, P.O. Box 30350, Honolulu, HI 96820-0350, or faxed to 735-1014, said Dennis Kamimura, administrator for the city Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing.
Give as much information as possible to identify the driver and company, including license plate number, and time, date and location of the incident.
Cabbies can charge for certain baggage. The rate card for baggage is posted on a card that is next to the meter, Kamimura said. The maximum charges are:
» Small baggage, parcel or object: For each purse, briefcase, airline handbag, camera, grocery bag (less than 25 pounds), parcel less than 4 cubic feet in size or collapsible wheelchair -- no charge.
» Regular baggage, parcel or object: For each piece of baggage, parcel or object, EXCEPT for small baggage, parcel or object noted above, or extra-large or heavy baggage or parcel noted below -- 50 cents.
» Extra-large or heavy baggage, parcel or object: For each piece of baggage, parcel or object greater than 10 cubic feet in size or exceeding 4 feet in length, and for each surfboard or bicycle -- $4.20.
Kamimura said there is no tipping requirement.
It might also interest you to know that under Sec. 12-1.10 (c) (1) of the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu, a cabdriver is required to provide a receipt "upon request" to at least one passenger, with the following information: "Origin, destination, time and date of the taxicab service; all fares and charges; the name of the taxicab operator, printed or written so that it is legible; the printed name and telephone number of the taxicab company; a telephone number, as designated by the director, to call for the filing of complaints; and any other information deemed necessary by the director."
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to email@example.com
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