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Report recommends sweeping changes to Halifax taxi industry
After a year-and-a-half long review sparked by safety concerns, Halifax Regional Council is mulling some sweeping recommendations aimed at improving taxi services.
If these recommendations are accepted by Halifax Regional Council, it would mean a major overhaul of the system for both taxi drivers and passengers.
The city compiled feedback from the industry, consultants, citizens and other cities.
Here's what's being recommended:
- staff is recommending not making cameras in taxis mandatory. Although it would make passengers feel more comfortable, other cities found that often the cameras lacked memory storage, had difficulty accessing files, or were broken or altered.
- the elimination of all zones. Currently there are three: Halifax, Dartmouth and County. The report states if they're eliminated, it would reduce customer confusion.
- the other big change is to increase the cap on taxi licenses from a 1,000 to 1,600. The report claims this will help reduce the wait list for licenses and increase gender diversity.
Other suggestions include: introducing a financial funding program as an incentive to get more accessible taxis on the road, require all taxis to have GPS -- although most do -- a training course requirement (which would include sensitivity training), and improve the English language test by making it more challenging.
Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are mentioned in this report. It says there's a big desire for the service and it's inevitable that it's coming, but staff say “it's a complex issue” and a separate report should be made on the topic.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Amanda Debison.