City on the hunt for pirate cabs

An Edmonton city councillor is raising the alarm over the number of unlicensed cabs in the city, saying they are a risk to passengers.

City to hire additional officer to deal with increase in unlicensed cabs on Edmonton streets

An Edmonton city councillor is raising concerns over the number of the rogue, unlicensed cabs in the city.

"Nobody knows the whereabouts of the [pirate] cab drivers because they don't work for a broker. They are not trained, they are not cleared for the security clearance as well," said Ward 12 councillor Amarejeet Sohi.

"So if somebody is getting into a [pirate] cab there's the potential for risk."

The unlicensed cabs can look legitimate, with some even having a light on the roof of the car.

Rogue cabs were seen as a problem starting in 2007, when they started popping up during the economic boom.

Gary Klassen, who works in the city's planning department, says they are returning to Edmonton, showing up mostly in areas with many bars and nightclubs.

"We've seen vehicles picking up people, that aren't taxi cabs, on a busy evening on Whyte Avenue or on Jasper or other areas," he said.

The city plans to hire an additional taxi enforcement officers to handle the increase in pirate cabs, bringing the total number of officers to four.