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Class of Cabbies Fights Airport Fee

ST. LOUIS (CN) - Cabbies say the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission make them pay an illegal $1 or $2 surcharge each time they leave Lambert St. Louis Airport.

The class action claims that cabbies have been charged the fees every time they left the airport since July 2005. They estimate cab drivers make 400 trips to the airport a day and 12,000 trips to the airport each month.

Cab owners Raja Naeem and Charles Cole say the co-defendant Commission and Central Parking Systems of Missouri have been assessing the illegal charges since June 13, 2005.

The cabbies say "that the MTC Taxicab Fee is being collected by CPS and 'held in trust' for the MTC. ... That this revenue can only be used for the capital, or operating, costs of the airport, or other facilities owned, or operated by the airport owner or operator and substantially related to the air transportation of passengers or property; [and that] the MTC is not authorized by city ordinance, or FAA regulations, to collect fees at the airport and use them for the benefit of MTC."

The class seeks $7 million in damages, alleging fraud and conversion. They are represented by MacArthur Moten.

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