Halifax woman launches petition for city to allow all-female taxi service
Launched less than a year ago, Chrissy McDow’s 'Women-Only Car Service', shuttles passengers back-and-forth to Halifax Stanfield International Airport, where she and her fleet of drivers are licensed to operate.
McDow says she'd love to expand into the highly competitive taxi business, but there is one problem.
"I can't do that because all my ladies are at the airport. I can't bring somebody in from the airport to do a taxi run, and then they have to go back to the airport," explains McDow.
McDow could solve that problem by being granted an owner-operator license. Many in the industry call it a 'roof-light', but it's technically a second permit, needed to run a taxi service.
There are only 1,000 of these permits to go around, and the waitlist to get one is in the hundreds.
HRM spokesperson Erin DiCarlo confirms the waitlist is long, and applicants can spend up to 10 years on the list. No one is allowed to jump the line, but there are also no rules permitting applicants from lobbying.
"So any changes to the legislation would have to come from regional council for any additional licenses," explains DiCarlo.
McDow argues that her service is unique and has launched a petition hoping to convince Halifax city council to allow her to jump the queue.
"And I'll take that to the mayor, to the city council, and we'll see what we can do" says McDow.
But not everyone is convinced.
"She cannot jump the queue, no," says taxi driver Maroun Tarabay.
"I think everyone should go on his terms, because everyone should go in the line. That's why we're here, you know what I mean?" continues Tarabay.
The city says there are currently no caps or waiting lists for companies or individuals that are interested in starting an accessible taxi service, a market where demand for vehicles currently outnumbers the supply.
Chrissy McDow says that is the exact argument she is making in her effort to drive change in a competitive industry.
So far McDow has gathered about 250 names on her petition, but says she'd like to double that before approaching council.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Bruce Frisko.