British Columbia

$75 vomit fee approved for B.C. taxicabs

Anyone who vomits in a taxicab in B.C. could now be charged a $75 cleanup fee, along with the cost of the trip.

Taxi companies say the standard fee will clarify the cleanup cost

Anyone who vomits in a taxicab in B.C. could now be charged a $75 cleanup fee, along with the cost of the trip.  

The province's Passenger Transportation Board has made changes to its standard rules for taxis to allow companies and cab drivers to charge passengers who make a mess.

"Passengers who soil or damage the interior of a vehicle with bodily fluids or solids may be required by driver or taxi company to pay a cleanup fee of $75 in addition to the meter rate or any other rate," says the new rule.

Carolyn Bauer, president of the Vancouver Taxi Association, says it’s a particular problem for drivers picking up fare downtown.

"It does happen a fair amount on Friday and Saturday evenings from the downtown district."

She says it can take two hours to get a taxi cleaned and back on the road, so the standardized charge will benefit everyone.              

"If an accident happens, at least the consumer knows what the charge will be right off the bat, rather than a driver guessing, 'Well, you now owe $90, you owe me $100," said Bauer. '

The so-called vomit fee is also charged by taxis in other parts of North America, including Calgary, which has a $100 fee.

With files from Meera Bains

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