Montreal passes dress codes, security camera rules for taxis

Montreal city council has passed new rules aimed at improving taxi service as the industry faces a major challenge from the ride-sharing company Uber.

Cabbies to get uniforms, security cameras, card payment systems in 2016

City staff also recommending changes to make traditional cabs more competitive, including a reduction of base fares from $4.25 to $3.25. (iStock)

Starting in the new year, Montreal taxi drivers will have to obey a new dress code, have security cameras installed in their cars and take electronic payments — no ifs, ands or buts about it.

The new rules were passed by Montreal city council on Sept. 16 and will come into effect Jan. 1, 2016.

Cab drivers will have a year to outfit their vehicles accordingly.

The move comes as Montreal's taxi industry faces a major challenge from Uber, the popular ride-sharing company.

Among the new regulations, cab drivers will have to alert passengers to the presence of a camera by way of a five-by-nine-centimetre pictogram-style sticker affixed to the back right window of the vehicle.

According to the city's new rules, only the police would have access to the images captured by the camera.

It is not clear how much the changes will cost and whether the city will help cab drivers pay for the new measures.

"In some cases, particularly concerning cameras, we are in the process of finalizing the question of money," said Mayor Denis Coderre at a news conference.

As for the dress code, cab drivers will now have to wear closed shoes and socks. In the winter, male cab drivers will only be permitted to wear black pants, white polo-style shirts or white dress shirts. Women can opt for a black skirt and white blouse. 

From May 1 to Sept. 30, bermuda shorts will be permitted.

Based on a report by Francois Cormier, Radio-Canada


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