Can I get a cab?by Sea Stachura, Minnesota Public Radio
Taxi drivers are prepared up for an onslaught of convention visitors, but cabs will still be available for residents.
St. Paul, Minn. — Taxi driver Jim Swanson said there's only so much preparation a driver can do for the RNC.
"We went through lectures - what are you going to do?" Swanson said. "You're going to do what you usually do, get out there and look for customers."
From Aug. 24 through Sept. 7, taxi drivers with a reciprocation license will be able to pick up customers in any city in the greater metro-area. That means likely more than 1,000 taxi drivers could be available.
"That's going to be a lot of cabs just all over the place," Swanson said.
You likely will be able to get a cab. And it may actually be easier than it normally is to hail a cab on the street.
The taxi stands in downtown St. Paul have moved for the convention. They'll be at Walnut and 7th, and Wabasha and 4th. But calling ahead for a cab is still your best bet.
Swanson complains that protesters can get closer to the Xcel than cab drivers.
"If you're a licensed cab driver, we have to sit blocks away," Swanson said.
And riders might complain about an increase in fares. On Aug. 27, St. Paul's mileage rate increased to $2.20. Swanson said some drivers will still use the former rate of $1.90. In Minneapolis, that rate is $2.35. The origin of your cab will determine your rate no matter where you catch the cab.