Grande Prairie city councillors tapped the brakes on the updated Vehicle for Hire bylaw after requesting additional information on GPS tracking in taxi cabs.
“The discussion in regard to GPS in taxis and vehicle for hire was based on a concern for safety,” says Mayor Jackie Clayton.
Clayton says the delay in the third reading of the bylaw, which would have seen it passed into municipal legislation, is only likely to last until the next meeting of council on March 22nd when they get a report back from city staff on the matter.
“For municipalities to be able to work with their enforcement department in regard to tracking potential vehicles for hire,” she says. “Administration will work with industry to see what possible opportunities there are for putting GPS in vehicles for hire.”
However, one potential concern showed by council never made it into further discussion, as the vote to require cameras to be installed in vehicles was nixed.
“They were concerned that it was restrictive financially to the industry and the operators,” says Clayton. “Not only the installation of the cameras but the additional costs for backing up the data from the camera and how long that data would need to be kept on file, so it was defeated.”
Other amendments which could find their way into the updated bylaw will see taxis forced to display not only trip rates but payment methods unless a price is pre-arranged before pick up. Operators will also be required to have an office in or around the City of Grande Prairie. The bylaw, when passed, with act as the overall regulation for the vehicle for hire industry, which covers taxis, limosines, rideshare companies, as well as designated driving and shuttle services.