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Local taxi drivers raising concerns about inspections

A number of taxi drivers in Grande Prairie are raising concerns about the way their vehicles are inspected. Ten industry representatives spoke to members of city council on Monday about some of the current vehicle for hire bylaws surrounding out of province inspections and time limits. One driver says if you’re late, you will wait.

“If a cab driver is late for the inspection they can not do it immediately or in a week, they have to wait 30 days. That touches many of us because we do have a family to feed.”

Inspections are done twice a year in April and October over a two week period. Enforcement Services Superintendent Chris Manuel says drivers are sent notices in advance, giving them time to get things in order.

“If you just weren’t prepared and your vehicle wasn’t ready to go on inspection and you thought you were just going to wait another week… it wasn’t an effective use of the enforcement officers time who were reallocated from other tasks to do this.”

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Another concern raised was about why Grande Prairie taxis have to have out of province inspections when other local vehicles don’t. Manuel says he knows the taxis here aren’t out of province, the city just prefers to use something that’s standard across the country.

“Every municipality that has taxis has an inspection. Some have their own forms that they create and have their mechanics fill out. The city of Grande Prairie determined that something that’s backed by provincial standard and something that’s consistent, that mechanics were familiar with was the appropriate way to go.”

The city is currently working on a new vehicle for hire bylaw due to an increase in designated driving services as well as ridesharing companies. Currently, the laws governing taxis are under the city’s business bylaw. This change would make it its own bylaw.

The changes are expected to go in front of council members within the next month.

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