April 20th Update- Why Wouldn’t You Want to Ride in a Safe Taxi?
Taxi Update April 20th:
The Town of Strathmore is currently acting to draw needed taxi business to the community. Council has directed Town Administration to prepare an amendment to the Business License Bylaw recognizing taxi, limousine, chauffeur and public conveyance for Calgary Metropolitan Region Board Members.
This is a temporary solution until a local business emerges to fill the service gap. The Town is encouraging any parties interested in starting a business for taxi, delivery, or ride sharing, to contact the Town Office for information on providing this needed service for Strathmore residents.
Local taxi companies have chosen to operate illegally and not to comply with Taxi Bylaw 16-14. Currently Strathmore does not have any legally operating taxi companies. During the temporary interruption in service, suggested taxi alternatives in Strathmore include the Strathmore Handi Bus, KARE Volunteer Driver Program, calling a friend, calling a neighbor, or calling a family member.
Monday April 16, 2018
Council and Town Administration cares about the safety of our citizens. We feel that our citizens deserve safe, smoke free, clean, and mechanically sound taxis for our community. Our citizens deserve nothing less and their safety was top priority when Council amended the existing taxi bylaw in 2016.
Taxi vehicles that have passed mechanical inspections, accompanied by drivers who have undergone criminal record checks and are able to recognize an emergency through their fist aid training are essential components of the amended Taxi Bylaw 16-14.
Under the Municipal Government Act, the Town of Strathmore has the power to maintain responsible service for safe public and private transportation. All businesses operating in the Town of Strathmore must also abide by provincial laws, such as non-smoking laws.
The Town of Strathmore is responsible for ensuring public safety as it relates to all public transportation. It is the responsibility of private companies to ensure compliance with all town bylaws. Taxi companies in other municipalities such as Airdrie must abide by similar bylaws. The taxi companies in Strathmore have chosen not to comply with Taxi Bylaw 16-14.
The Town is aware that the current taxi company previously operating illegally in the Town of Strathmore has indicated that they are shutting down. It is acknowledged that there may be an interruption of service due to non-compliance from local taxi companies. Any parties interested in starting a business may contact the Town for information on providing taxi, delivery, or ride sharing services for Strathmore residents. The Town will work with any local and area taxi companies, who will comply with the Taxi Bylaw. This also opens an opportunity for new businesses to emerge.
In 2015, at the request of Town residents, Strathmore Town Council initiated a review of the taxi bylaw with significant input from local taxi companies to address community safety concerns.
Examples of requirements noted in this bylaw include:
- Taxi drivers must have a criminal record check
- Taxi vehicles must pass a vehicle inspection
- Taxi drivers must obtain a basic first aid certificate
The Town would like to emphasize that first aid is just one requirement that the local taxi companies refused to abide by.
After a concern was brought forward by a local taxi company regarding the first aid requirement. Council listened and responded. To assist local taxi companies, Council voted to waive the yearly driver fee. The cost of obtaining a taxi first aid certificate for each driver is now the same cost as the waived driver fee. In relation, the first aid course is now free.
In addition to the one-year notice period, Council also offered a onetime extension on the Chauffeur permits (Driver permits)—January 31, 2018, to Feb 23, 2018. This provided drivers with a grace period to meet the first aid requirement.
As of January 31, 2018, all remaining requirements of the taxi bylaw were enforced by the Town of Strathmore. Taxis companies operating without the required permits were ticketed multiple times. Local taxi companies continued to ignore the Taxi Bylaw displaying illegal decals and operating in non -compliance with vehicle safety regulations, driver regulations and business licensing obligations. Illegal operation of the local taxi companies resulted in the Town of Strathmore taking formal legal action against the companies.
Provincial legislation reference; Smoke-Free Places (Tobacco Reduction) Amendment Act, 2007 and Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act, 2013 (amends the Tobacco Reduction Act).
For more information watch for updates on our website stathmore.ca
Date Updated: April 20, 2018 - 11:17 AM