TRURO – It is time for unified regulations for the taxi industry in the greater Truro area, says a cab company owner.
“I have no problem with competition,” George MacDonald told the Truro Daily News Monday following a presentation to Truro town council.
“All I’m asking for is a fair playing field.”
To operate a taxi in Truro you have to be licensed by the town, have inspections of your fleet of vehicles and drivers need a town-issued license.
Leave the town borders and there are no bylaws in place.
“We can’t stop other taxi companies from bringing passengers into Truro, however, … they should not be allowed to pick up passengers and take them out,” said Coun. Raymond Tynes.
It creates a “grey area” or “inconsistency,” police Chief David MacNeil said.
“The officers can’t stop every taxi in town to inspect their license,” he said.
“We don’t have the time to do that, nor I don’t think the taxi industry would want to be harassed like that nor the fare in the taxi …
“There’s not a neon light on a taxi saying, ‘I’m breaking the bylaw.’”
Mayor Bill Mills said he was going to raise the issue with Colchester Mayor Bob Taylor today during a trip to Halifax.
The issue was raised Monday as the town held a second reading for taxi bylaw amendments, which passed unanimously.
The changes include only going back five years as opposed to 10 years for disqualifying offences. Anyone committing one of the offences would not get a taxi license in Truro. Another change would see fines increase to between $100 and $1,000 from $40.
Staff was also asked to report back to council in April about the pros and cons of expanding the mandate of the taxi commission to deal with more than just fare increase requests.