City officials say about 75 per cent of current taxis are older than seven years. (CBC)

Some Saint John taxi drivers are wondering how they'll afford upcoming changes to the city's Taxicab Bylaw.

Common Council plans to bring in a number of amendments later this year, including age limits on cars.

Jose Cardozo, who's been driving cabs for 25 years and owns his own company, contends that's financially unrealistic.

"No taxi driver in the city here will be able to afford that," said Cardozo, of Independent Taxi.

"You want to buy a decent sedan, you're going to pay at least $30,000."

Cardozo drives a 12-year-old car with 450,000 kilometres on the odometer, but it's clean and runs smoothly.

Forcing cabbies to drive newer cars could put some companies out of business, he said.


Common council also wants to see meters installed in all taxis. (CBC)

About 75 per cent of the 300 cabs on Saint John's roads would need to be replaced, according to Amy Poffenroth, chair of the city's Taxicab Bylaw review committee and the acting inspector of buildings and inspection services, which handles bylaw enforcement.

Cabbie Jason Johnson doesn't believe they all need to be pulled out of service.

He suggests setting up a strict inspection system instead.

"If there was a little tighter enforcement on it, because you do see some cars out there that you kind of wonder, 'How did they get through?'  If there was more enforcement on that, it'd be more feasible," said Johnson.

Other proposed changes to the bylaw include thoroughly screening all drivers, forcing them to undergo more training about landmarks and geography, and putting fee meters in all taxis.

Mayor Ivan Court has said he also hopes to eventually see a limit on the number of taxis allowed in the city to help ensure quality.