Saskatchewan

Cameras, GPS recommended for Regina taxis

Regina taxicabs could be getting a hi-tech makeover in the next few years, with on-board cameras and tracking devices part of the package.

Regina taxicabs could be getting a hi-tech makeover in the next few years, with on-board cameras and tracking devices part of the package.

The city administration is recommending that security cameras be installed in all cabs by May 1, 2015. It's one of a series of proposals going to the city's executive committee later this week.

The city is also recommending that GPS (global positioning satellite) devices and computer-aided dispatching be added to all cabs by May 1, 2014.

Part of reason for the changes is security and the need to protect vulnerable cabbies.

Some people have argued that cabs need plastic partitions, but cameras were recommended instead, according to Andrea McNeil-Wilson, the city's manager of licensing.

"The consultant had recommended cameras for us because we have passengers who travel in the front seat," she said. "A partition would not provide any safety measures to the driver if the passenger was in the front."

The report also recommends adding more taxis each year. There are currently 120 licensed cabs. 

The city adminstration wants 12 new taxis to be added this year. The ultimate goal is to have about 146 on Regina roads.

If the executive committee approves the recommendations, they will go to city council for final approval.

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