Manitoba

Winnipeg to try out overnight taxi fare prepayment this spring

Winnipeg is planning a pilot project that will see nighttime taxi passengers prepay a portion of their fares up front.
Winnipeg taxi passengers may be asked to pay a portion of their fares up front for overnight rides, beginning this spring. (Shutterstock)

Winnipeg is planning a pilot project that will see nighttime taxi passengers prepay a portion of their fares up front.

Beginning this spring, the city intends to test a new overnight fare payment system where passengers pay a minimum charge by cash, debit or credit card at the start of the trip.

The city hopes prepayment will reduce the potential for conflicts over fares and guarantee drivers wind up with some payment in the event they get stiffed by passengers, said Grant Heather, Winnipeg's vehicles-for-hire manager.

"You go to a gas station at 10 o'clock at night, the expectation is you will prepay either inside or at the pump [for] the gasoline you want to put into your car. Right now, that's what we're looking at for the taxicab side," Heather said, at city hall following his appearance before council's public works committee.

The pilot project would require all passengers to pay a portion of their trip up front, regardless of where they are in Winnipeg or what they look like. 

At the end of the trip, passengers would be expected to pay the remainder of their fare, unless the driver is satisfied with the prepayment, Heather said.

Overnight fare prepayment will be permanent if the pilot project is a success, he added.

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