see source, CBC News
The Calgary Cab Drivers’ Association has asked the city to impose a $3 surcharge on late-night fares.
If the cabbies have their way, all rides between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays would be bumped.
The reason, association president Rajiv Kapil said, is that drivers feel those are the most dangerous time periods in which to work.
“Just to attract drivers to work at night, to make our cabs more available for the passengers at night, three dollars incentive should be given to them,” Kapil said.
He said the extra cash would help pay for additional security measures in the cab.
“We need a safety shield in the car, because many drivers have been attacked. So many attempts have been made. Many were reported and many were not reported,” said Kapil.
Last month, a taxi driver was stabbed as two thieves stole his vehicle.
As well as paying for security upgrades, the extra fee would help cover the ever-increasing cost of keeping cabs running, Kapil said.
Report advises against surcharge:
Last month, a private consultant’s report on the taxi industry in Calgary specifically did not recommend a nighttime hike in fares, saying it would have only minimal impact.
But City Hall said it’s prepared to look at the surcharge. The lack of taxis available at night in Calgary has been a common complaint.
“We need to enhance service availability,” said Marc Halat, manager and chief livery officer of the department that oversees the city’s taxi industry.
“If the $3 would make a difference, I’d like to test that and see if it does. If it does, we can consider it long-term. If not, I’d like to see us work out other strategies to improve safety.”
The proposed fare increase comes as Calgary Transit increased their monthly transit fares on the weekend. The cost for an adult monthly bus pass rose from $85.25 to $90.
But the city also recently eliminated the $3 park-and-ride fee at LRT stations and launched 12 special downtown pickup locations for cab users.
There are currently 1,400 cabs licensed in the city, with roughly half of them serving the downtown core.
Kapil said his group has about 200 members, and represents more than 1,000 cab drivers in Calgary.
Update: June 29, 2009 Taxi drivers fight erroneous parking tickets
Update: December 18, 2010 – The city has just introduced 12 new taxi stands that will make catching a cab at closing time a whole lot easier in some neighbourhoods.
A significant disincentive for cab drivers is the high risk of getting a parking ticket whenever they come downtown, especially when dropping off a senior going to a doctor’s appointment, someone who is handicapped, or visitors travelling with luggage, who all need assistance. Cab drivers need to be able to pull over safely and help their passengers get out, without fearing a guaranteed ticket from ParkPlus, as is now the perception.