Drivers of Taxicabs in Minneapolis have to use a credit card machine in compliance with the city ordinance to accept credit cards from their passengers.
From my recent trip to New York City, this is the common practice.All TaxiCabs offer your the option of paying Cash or using your Credit Cards.
Using the Credit Card Machine, you endup paying higher rates, if you factor in the fare, taxes, the 2 – 3% transaction fee, and an automatic 2% to 25% Tip.
For instance, for USD $45 ride from Manhattan to JFK International Airport, I ended up paying USD $60.
The city council voted 11-2 in favor of the ruling that instructs taxicab drivers that they cannot deny customers wishing to use their credit cards in payment of their fares.
According to Councilor Gary Schiff who authored the city ordinance, it will place Minneapolis at parallel with other cities that use credit card machine to serve both locals and visitors looking for a ride without using cash.
However, taxicab drivers think that the rule is forcing them to do public service at their own expense.
The city also regulates the amount of fare that they can charge using a cost index from 2009.
Free Credit Card Machines For Small Business: Apparently, the index utilizes factors such as fuel, maintenance and other fees, but do not include the fees charged by the card companies to the cab companies.
Such charges, according to Yemane Mebrahtu, president of taxicab owners and drivers association in Minneapolis, are being passed to the cab drivers.
The fees range from 5% to 10% of the fare, which means a $30 fare, would cost an extra $1.50 or $3.00 to the taxicab drivers.
Mebrahtu stated further that their business is as if being run by the city without considering the costs charged to them.
They are given the responsibility of serving the people at their own expense.
Affordable Credit Card Machine – An Example of a Taxicab Driver’s Experience
Credit Card Machine Merchant Account
While waiting for potential passengers outside a hotel in downtown Minneapolis, Hamza Gazi looks through the stack of credit card receipts issued from credit card machine that will be charged to him by the cab company for 7-percent.
Gazi continue relating that their situation got worse because the city has recently licensed additional cab drivers.
The instance makes it tough for cab drivers like him not only to look for passengers, but also in finding legal zones to park their taxicab and wait for customers. This caused 42 year-old Gazi to be issued with 25 traffic violation tickets last year.
Gazi owned a commercial driver’s license. He has been a truck driver for many years, earning decent wages. However, he was laid off because of the bad economic situation, three years ago that forced him in getting a taxicab to drive.
Apparently, with the stiff fare limits and the current ruling on the use of credit card machine for taxicab, he is very much struggling to support his family.
Gazi is from Somalia, and just recently tries to apply once again for a truck driver job, but is turned down. He almost considered quitting and thought of applying for welfare instead.
However, according to Gazi, he does not want to do such because he is a hard worker and he is determined to work.
Pros and Cons of the credit card machine merchant account Ordinance
Councilor Lisa Goodman supports the ordinance by citing a safety issue. Goodman stated that by adopting credit card for taxicab fare, intoxicated people who have no available cash, would not be stranded and they would have an option not to drive their car going home.
Another thing pointed out by Councilor Schiff is that most people, who use credit card, generally handed bigger tips.
The two councilors who voted not in favor of the ordinance, Cam Gordon and Meg Tuthill believe that taxicab owners have very little recourse, but to absorb the fees passed to them by the credit card companies.
There is no apparent move from the city council at present concerning possible reconsideration or amendments of the ordinance.
The taxicab drivers at this point should be familiarized in using the credit card machine.