A cab vomit fee of $50 has been approved by the City of Chicago to allow drivers to charge riders for the cleanup, and if it goes unpaid, the driver can call the police.
WBBM-TV reported that cab drivers have long complained about having to clean up the stomach contents of passengers — sober or otherwise — in their back seats without being able to charge a fee.
Thus, the city sided with the cabbies and instituted the fee along with a fare hike to replace fluctuating fuel surcharges.
According to RedEye Chicago, the fee is not a police citation that can be traced back to the passenger. Instead, it’s a charge listed on the cab’s placard, to be used at the driver’s discretion.
If someone refuses to pay the fee, the cabbies can call police and report it as a failure to pay a fare.
“In a lot of ways, it’s empowering the driver to say there is a consequence to puking all over their cabs,” Jennifer Lipford, spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection told RedEye.
If you think the $50 cab vomit fee is too much, then listen to this: The Toronto Sun reported that other cities across North America also maintain vomit violation fees in taxis, and range from a $75 cleanup fee in Savannah, Ga., a $100 throw-up fine in Austin, Texas, and a $150 puking penalty each time someone hurls in an Airport Taxi Limo in Toronto.
When you add it all up, Chicago’s fine isn’t all that bad when compared to other cities.