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$50 taxi cleaning deposit fee approved by Sudbury council

Hailing a cab in Sudbury might soon come with an extra $50 fee.

Councillor Joe Cimino worries fee will deter intoxicated people from taking a cab

At its Tuesday night meeting, Sudbury city council voted in some major changes to how it regulates the taxi industry. (istockphoto.com)

Hailing a cab in Sudbury might soon come with an extra $50 fee.

Sudbury city council voted in the optional cleaning fee last night — to be handed to those passengers who make a mess — along with a range of other taxi industry reforms.

But many councillors, like Terry Kett, were skeptical.

"I can't picture a taxi cab driver saying to a drunk who has brought up in his cab, 'Oh, I'm going to charge you for cleaning my cab.' It just doesn't make sense. I can see all kinds of fisticuffs happening,” he said.

Cab drivers report this is a major reason why many don't pick up fares in downtown Sudbury after the bars are closed.

City councillor Frances Caldarelli wondered if this $50 fe would be charged to everyone.

"Or will they be deciding on the way people look? Whether they're inebriated or not?"

In the end, council did agree to give cab drivers the option of charging a $50 deposit fee to passengers.

Joe Cimino was the lone city councillor to vote against the fee.

"I just fear that somebody's going to say 'Holy, 50 bucks! Maybe I'll take the risk and drive home.' That's my biggest fear,” he said.

“Or 'maybe I'll walk home and end up in a snowbank.' Who knows?"

Another big change is licensing cabs to serve all of Greater Sudbury where, in the past, some were designated just to cover the outlying areas.

Council accepted staff proposals to have one licence covering all of Greater Sudbury, hike taxi licence fees and require drivers to get more thorough background checks.

They also decided to review the new taxi system in a year’s time.

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