PEI

Taxi rate increase still being weighed by Charlottetown police

Charlottetown taxi companies and their customers will have to wait until April to find out whether fares can increase by $1.  

Update expected at April city council meeting

Charlottetown taxi companies haven't had a fare increase since 2008. (CBC)

Charlottetown taxi companies and their customers will have to wait until April to find out whether fares can increase by $1. 

The fare increase is something several Charlottetown companies told CBC last week they'd already implemented, but the city's taxi bylaw is overseen by Charlottetown Police Services, which says the increase is news to them. 

On Tuesday, at the city's protective and emergency services committee meeting, Charlottetown Police Chief Brad MacConnell said bylaw officers reached out to those taxi companies to remind them that no rate increase has been approved by council.

"Any variation from that would be a breach of the law," said MacConnell. 

"But we have not received any complaints from the public that they have breached the bylaw. So until we do, we'll rely on them being responsible and abiding by the bylaws that are in place."

Charlottetown Police Chief Brad MacConnell says he can appreciate that taxi companies would like to see a rate increase as soon as possible, but the process is going to take time. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC News)

MacConnell said bylaw staff are still reviewing the proposal submitted by taxi operators in December 2021 and are not yet ready to issue a recommendation. He said work is underway to seek feedback from industry and the community on the proposed fare increase, as well as researching fares in other jurisdictions. 

"We know that there is a desire from the industry to make these changes and make them quickly," said MacConnell. "But they have to understand there is due diligence and procedures have to be followed."

It would be the first price increase since 2008. Those in the industry say the increase is needed to help cover the rising costs of fuel, repairs and insurance. 

MacConnell said he expects to have an update available at next month's council meeting, scheduled for April 11. In the meantime, he said anyone who feels they've been treated unfairly, or charged at an increased rate while using a taxi, can make a report to police to have their complaints investigated. 

In the city of Charlottetown's taxi bylaw, fines range from $10 to $50 for a first offence, to a maximum of $200 for a third offence.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessica Doria-Brown

Videojournalist

Jessica Doria-Brown is a videojournalist with CBC in P.E.I. Originally from Toronto, Jessica has worked for CBC in Newfoundland & Labrador, New Brunswick, and Ontario.

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