Cody’s taxi drivers could soon see a few more dollars in their pockets every time they take someone home using the Tipsy Taxi service.

Tuesday night, city council members showed support for raising payments to the taxi companies from $7 to $10 per ride to compensate an increase in rider fees in the 11 years since the program was established. 

“I think it’s time to go up to $10,” said city councilman Jerry Fritz, who supported the program at its inception in 2011. 

With verbal approval at the work session, the change in price will be voted on at next Tuesday’s city council meeting.

Administrative services officer Cindy Baker said she brought the proposal forward after hearing from owners of two of the three participating taxi services which receive the $7 that the city pays to companies to cover the cost of the ride, which is free for passengers, was now below the average charge for a ride in town.

“When it was established, they were charging $6 or $7 a ride,” she said. “Now one charges $8, the other $9. We are under what their normal fee is.”

Baker said she suggested $10 as a way to incentivize a program meant to keep drunk drivers off the streets. 

On average, about 16 retail or restaurant liquor license holders participate.

Those who are impaired are eligible for a free ride home and the person is taken from a participating bar or restaurant to a place of residence or hotel within city limits. 

Only businesses with a liquor license issued by the city and those registered with the city are considered a Tipsy Taxi participant. 

Taxicabs may only provide rides to customers at participating establishments where an employee determines a customer has had too many alcoholic drinks to safely drive. City vouchers are used to secure cab rides home for them. 

Prenumbered City of Cody Tipsy Taxi voucher books are provided to all participating establishments. They may not issue vouchers to customers in advance of actual need.

Each year a portion of liquor license fees the city collects is dedicated to the program.

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