City of Regina lowering accessible taxi fee

Getting into an accessible cab costs more than a regular cab in Regina, but that's something that will likely change this year.

Getting into an accessible cab costs more than a regular cab in Regina, but that's something that will likely change this year.

A new taxi bylaw is under consideration at City Hall that would equalize the initial charge when people get into a cab, regardless of the type.

The bylaw was on the agenda Thursday at a community and protective services committee meeting.

Cab drivers CBC News spoke to Thursday said that there are physical demands involved in helping disabled customers and sometimes it can be challenging.

The extra work is one reason why Regina cab companies with accessible taxis charge disabled passengers $7 off the top, followed by an additional charge for the trip.

Meanwhile, the initial "drop" charge for customers using regular cabs is $3.80.

Wendy Palanuik, who uses a wheelchair, discovered that difference the last time she took a Regina cab — and wasn't happy about it.

"Seven dollars! We weren't even moving yet," she said.

The City of Regina says that's an unfair charge against disabled people.

It's recommending a $4 off-the-top charge for everyone.

"It's a matter of equity and fairness in terms of the rights of people with disabilities," said Kelly Scherr, the city's director of construction and compliance.

If approved, the new taxi rate would take effect March 11.

And the city is also recommending more allowances for disabled passengers. All service animals, such as seeing-eye dogs, would be allowed into cabs with their companion at no extra charge.

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