Perth taxi fares are increasing by 15% to help companies cope with the soaring cost of fuel.
Councillors agreed tariffs must rise following an 11-year price freeze.
The move has been welcomed by taxi firms, who said drivers were leaving in their droves as they struggled to make ends meet.
But Anddy Lothian of Ace Taxis described it as bitter sweet as it means costs will now be passed on to customers.
“We don’t really want to be putting fares up because we’re scared we’ll lose customers,” he said.
“It seems steep but it’s down to necessity.
“And actually, the 15% increase won’t even cover the rising cost of fuel.”
Taking account of rising costs
Perth and Kinross Council’s licensing committee heard there had been no increase in tariffs since 2011.
Licensing manager Debra Gilkison said: “With increased costs in fuel and associated running costs, it is proposed that the licensing committee consider increasing the tariffs to take account of these ongoing costs.”
Almost 100 taxi operators were asked whether they would like fares to stay the same or rise by 5%, 7% or 10%.
And of the 75 respondents, 68 said 10%.
However, councillors said that wasn’t enough and agreed an even higher increase of 15%.
Anddy said taxi companies and drivers were not being greedy.
“It’s more than we hoped for but it’s less than 1.5% a year over 11 years,” he said.
“It pales into insignificance compared to what the rail and bus industries have got over that time.
“But we’re grateful for it. We’re grateful the council listened.”
Perth taxi fares had to rise
He added: “We didn’t want to put fares up but from an economical point of view we had to.
“And we really hope people will take into consideration the difficulties we’re facing and how long it’s been since tariffs rose.
Taxi drivers all over Scotland are really feeling the pinch.”
Anddy Lothian, Ace Taxis.
Anddy hopes the decision on Perth taxi fares will prompt other local authorities to also increase tariffs.
“It’s not just us who are struggling,” he said.
“Taxi drivers all over Scotland are really feeling the pinch.”
However, while the increase has been agreed by the committee, the public now gets a say.
People will have a month to respond once the rise is advertised in a local newspaper.