As taxis hiked their fares yesterday, the first in a series of increases that will double charges over the next year, a new measure offering reduced fees on public transport for the young and the elderly came into effect. Taxi fare charges are now up 33 percent to 48 cents from 36 cents per kilometer. The next increase will be in November, when the rate will rise to 60 cents, and the final hike is due in May 2010, when it will reach 72 cents. The minimum charge for a cab ride, 3.80 euros, will not change. In exchange for the fare increase, cabbies have vowed to stop common violations such as overcharging and taking on multiple fares. Meanwhile, a government initiative that also came into effect yesterday offers half-price tickets on the metro, bus, trolley bus and tram for under-18s and over-65s as well as foreign students visiting from abroad.