Nova Scotia

Business owner seeks rule changes as requests for female taxi drivers grow

The owner of an airport limousine service has asked Halifax's transportation committee to change the taxi rules to allow the creation of an all-female business, known as the Lady Drive Her Car Service.

Demand for women taxi drivers in city is increasing but Lady Drive Her's licence only allows trips to airport

Crissy McDow has asked Halifax's transportation committee for an expanded licence to allow her women-centred business to do city runs. Right now, her 12 female drivers can only make airport trips. (Elizabeth Chiu/CBC)

The owner of an airport limousine business has asked Halifax's municipal transportation committee to change the taxi rules to allow the creation of an all-female business, known as the Lady Drive Her Car Service.

Crissy McDow made a presentation at city hall Thursday. She told councillors her licence only allows her 12 female drivers to drive to Halifax Stanfield International Airport, even though "every second phone call" asks about taxi runs in the city.

"My hands are tied, the taxi industry is capped," said McDow, "There's no more owner-operator licences available."

There are 850 people on a waiting list for taxi licenses. Some have been on the list for years.  

But McDow says when councillors wanted to get more accessible taxis into the system, they created a new category. She believes her female-driver service qualifies for similar consideration.

"I'm the voice of the people and I'm here to give them what they need — an option to have a car service they feel safe in," she said.  

The move to create the Lady Drive Her Car Service began following complaints of sexual assault involving male taxi drivers and female passengers.

McDow said separate taxi zones should be eliminated so female drivers are able pick up passengers from all parts of the municipality.

Currently, there are Halifax, Dartmouth and County zones and taxi drivers with licenses in one zone are restricted from picking up passengers in the other two zones.

The transportation committee has asked staff to review the changes proposed by McDow.

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