CBC News has learned Charlottetown’s taxi bylaw is getting an overhaul in response to concerns over inconsistent fares and safety issues.
City police, who license and regulate the drivers, say the bylaw is being examined after a recent report on youth retention identified these and several other concerns.
“In the youth report they identified that a lot of taxis weren’t displaying proper identification, the rates weren’t consistent, there was a general feeling of unsafety from users of the taxis especially within the youth environment,” said Brad MacConnell, Charlottetown’s deputy police chief.
The taxi bylaw covers the rules for about 180 drivers and the four companies licensed in P.E.I.’s capital city: Yellow Cab, City Taxi, GrabbaCab and Co-op Taxi.
The bylaw was brought in in 1999 and hasn’t seen a major overhaul since. It was last updated in 2013 when fares were increased.
‘They will never take a cab alone’
MacConnell said he and several members of the youth retention advisory board met with owners of the taxi companies this past spring after getting the report by the youth board, which examined why young people are moving out of province. The report included concerns about taxis, such as inconsistent fares, availability of rides, safety and the behaviour of some drivers.
“There were some perceived safety issues, especially among some of the younger people,” said Zac Murphy, who co-authored the report and is with the Charlottetown youth matters board, adding those safety concerns are especially evident among those who depend on cabs to get home after the buses stop running, sometimes after a night out that involves alcohol.