British Columbia

Vancouver taxi report: Safety and accessibility the main concerns

A new report presented to Vancouver city council makes 21 recommendations aimed at improving passenger safety and service.

Report says drivers should be trained in first aid and be required to help disabled customers

Vancouverites report a high level of dissatisfaction with local taxi service.

Vancouver cab drivers don't have the best reputation when it comes to service or safety, but a new report presented to Vancouver city council could be the first step toward a change in the city's taxi landscape.

The Taxi Service Review report is asking council to make 21 amendments to the Vehicles for Hire bylaws.

Some of the recommendations include:

  • requiring drivers to have level one first aid certification
  • requiring drivers to take a taxi driver refresher course every five years
  • increasing the number accessible taxis in the city
  • requiring accessible taxi drivers to wait at least three minutes for a passenger
  • requiring drivers to help a passenger "door to door" if needed
  • requiring drivers to carry a passenger's items if needed
  • requiring drivers to wait for paramedics in the case of passenger medical emergencies

Many of the recommendations stem from a 2014 Insights West survey which identified a number of problems with taxi service in Metro Vancouver, including long wait times, gouging on indirect routes, and reckless driving.

Service for the disabled was also identified as needing improvement after a study showed disabled passengers usually face much longer wait times when catching a cab.

The hot topic of Uber and ridesharing is also addressed in the report to council, with a call for more consultation and a regional plan.

The city says it hope to bring forward recommendations around ridesharing in three months.

People hoping to speak to council about the taxi report will be able to do so Oct. 29 at 6 p.m.

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