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Published March 14, 2011, 06:11 PM

Gas Prices Affecting GF Cabs

Higher gas prices don't mean you will be paying more for a taxi ride. That's because the city of Grand Forks adjusts those rates. So for now the taxi companies will eat the loses that come with the spike in gas price.

Andy Simmons started his Red White and Blue taxi service in Grand Forks five years ago. It didn't take him long to learn when gas prices spike, profits plunge.

Simmons says it affects their bottom line right away.

Gas prices continue to climb, sitting at $3.60 a gallon as of Monday. That's up a dime in the last week.

Gary Spicer from Nodak Radio Cab says in order to keep expenses down, they use the less expensive E-85 ethanol gas blend. He says they get about the same mileage and it's 50 to 60 cents a gallon cheaper than regular unleaded gas. Spicer says the cabs tend to run better with E-85 in warmer weather.

"During the summer the E-85 is much cheaper to run. With the cars that have the flex fuel capabilities in them," says Spicer.

Andy Simmons says they also use the E-85 blend. "Try and do that and we use these Nissans, smaller cars. We try and use these very fuel efficient cars. We do a lot of maintenance to keep them as efficient as possible."

Taxi cabs can't just raise their rates to ride out the high prices. That's because the city regulates the prices that they can charge. They raised the rates three years ago when gas prices shot up to $4 a gallon.

Both Spicer and Simmons don't look for that to happen again soon.

"My boss right now is pretty much holding his own. He say that we will not be increasing our rates unless something really drastic comes about," says Spicer.

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