January 15, 2014 - 8:21 AM
KAMLOOPS – Council agrees age alone should not be the determining factor for whether a taxi cab is allowed on the roads, condition of the vehicle is much more important.
Yellow Cabs owner Abdul Rasheed says the seven year age limit imposed on city taxis in 2008 is simply too severe and will result in higher fares as owners look to cover the increased cost of doing business in the city.
“If the bylaw is created without practical reasons it puts a lot of pressures on our business,” Rasheed says. “If it's kept to seven years we'll have to increase our charge.”
Rasheed researched other similarly sized cities in B.C. and says no other city has the same type of standards Kamloops has, from the age restriction to the extra two inspections required every year, though some airports do have specific requirements for taxis coming onto airport grounds. Kelowna, the community Rasheed chose to most closely identify with, puts a 10-year age restriction on any vehicles working at the airport.
The Commercial Vehicle Inspection Program requires all commercial vehicles pass a safety inspection every six months and in Kamloops two annual cleanliness inspections also check basic safety requirements such as seat belts, lights and secured seats. Most other communities do not require the cleanliness inspections according to Rasheed.
“It's (the number of inspections) much higher than anywhere else,” he says. “Relax the standard and bring us more in line with the rest of the province.”
Not only are restrictions much higher but Kamloops cabs don't put on nearly the number of kilometres per year cabs in other cities do. As a much smaller market Kamloops taxis tally about 150,000 km per year while Vancouver the average is almost 250,000 km per year.
Council decided to implement the strict regulations in 2008 when a high level of non-compliance was being found among taxi operators. Given the majority of compliance over the past several years council has now agreed to extend the age limit of taxis to nine years, though council will revisit the issue in two years to see if compliance levels have again fallen.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014