TRURO - Colchester County is proceeding with the drafting of a taxi bylaw that will mirror the rules set for Truro cabs, with one main exception - fares will not be regulated.
"I think the marketplace will determine the fares," Councillor Bill Masters said, during recent discussion on the issue.
Council had municipal staff explore the merits of drafting a taxi bylaw after complaints were raised regarding a discrepancy between cabs that operate within the town of Truro and others that are situated outside the Hubtown's boundaries, such as in Bible Hill and Shubenacadie.
Truro taxis are currently regulated while those operating elsewhere within Colchester County are not and concern has been expressed about such issues as driver credentials and vehicle safety.
The Truro bylaw sets out various parameters such as making it illegal for people to drive a cab if they have been convicted of sexual or other indictable offences and that all cabs be equipped with meters and roof signs. The Truro bylaw also determines the rate that cab drivers can charge their patrons.
The Bible Hill taxi company requested that if a Colchester bylaw is enacted, that it be permitted to continue to offer various discounts and promotions, which would not be permitted if the fares were set out as in the Truro regulations.
As well, the Shubenacadie company does not have meters in its four vehicles and fare stipulation in the new bylaw would require that it did.
The cost to install a taxi meter was estimated at between $400 and $600 per vehicle while the cost of having a meter calibrated is about $30 per year.
Ultimately, Colchester council decided to draft regulations similar to that of Truro's, with the exception of setting a fare schedule.
"To me it's who's driving the cars and all the safety issues (involved in operating a taxi)," Coun. Bob White said.
Council also appointed councillors Tom Taggart and Gerry Buott to sit on a taxi committee to assist with the creation of a Terms of Reference for the new bylaw.