Transportation
4:18 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

New Taxis to Focus on Downtown Pittsburgh

A new taxi fleet will allow Pittsburghers to hail cabs in the Golden Triangle, rather than calling a dispatch service. The "City Cab" service launched Tuesday with a fleet of six cars.

The white taxis are meant to focus on downtown Pittsburgh, but they'll also cart people to nearby neighborhoods like Oakland, the South Side, the North Side, and Mount Washington.

The Pittsburgh Transportation Group launched the fleet at a total cost of about $250,000, including roughly $12,500 for each car.

PTG President Jamie Campolongo said each cab has a decal that reads "No Airport Service."

"They're not licensed for the airport, so they won't be able to go to the airport. We don't want them to go to the airport," said Campolongo. "The sole purpose of these are to stay in the inner city."

He said Pittsburgh will finally be a "hail town" like New York or Chicago.

"Here's the deal in Pittsburgh: up until [Tuesday], if you put your hand up and waved for a taxi cab, the cab driver would wave back at you and keep on going," said Campolongo. "After [Tuesday], you'll hail these guys, they'll pull over and take you for a ride."

The Pittsburgh taxi magnate said he hopes to build up the City Cab fleet to 20 cars before the first Steelers game this fall.

"That'll build our total fleet, with all of our cab companies, up to about 350, 355," said Campolongo. "We've always thought that Pittsburgh's a 375-cab town. That's where we're headed."

He said the new white taxis will charge the same rate as yellow cabs — a $2.25 fee for the first seventh of a mile, then $1.75 per mile afterward. They'll idle at cab stands, hotels, and popular downtown venues to wait for customers.