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Montreal taxis may soon charge a 'vomit tax' for sick patrons

Excessive partying may come with a hefty bill if you are relying on Montreal taxis to get you home.

Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary already have such a fee in effect, cabbies say it's long overdue here

Toronto charges a $25 clean up fee to patrons who throw up in a cab, Calgary charges $100. (CBC)

Excessive partying may come with a hefty bill if you are relying on Montreal taxis to get you home.

The city’s transportation committee says it’s open to the possibility of a so-called “vomit tax” that passengers would have to pay if they become sick in a cab.

Such a fee is already in effect in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and other cities around North America.

The fees in those cities range from $25 to $100.

Taxi driver Ade Adegeye said it’s long overdue in Montreal.

As it stands, the city’s cabbies have to pay out of their own pocket to clean their cars — and the time spent doing so means lost fares.

Adegeye told CBC Radio’s Daybreak that the fee has to reflect the true cost of having a cab cleaned.

An episode that saw three girls throw up in his cab 20 years ago cost Adegeye $300 to clean up at the time.

Fortunately, the father of one of the girls picked up the cleaning tab and also paid him for the wages he lost while his car was out of commission.

Altogether, Adegeye said he was paid $600.

All those costs have to be taken into consideration when coming up with a fee, he said.

“The set fee shouldn’t be something that you pick out of a hat, I think it should be set by a reputable cleaning agency that can make a proper assessment of the damage done to a car,” he said.

There’s also the question of getting people to pay the fee.

If a client refuses, there’s little a cab driver can do.

Adegeye suggested it might be necessary to involve the police, but only as a last resort.

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