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Council to vote on GPS installation in taxi cabs

City council will vote later this month about whether trackable GPS should be installed in all Grande Prairie cabs. Initially pulled from the recently revamped vehicle-for-hire bylaw, members of council say the discussion on GPS installation in vehicles was based on a concern for overall safety. That was backed up by a city report, which states ‘there is some belief in the community that taxis are not as safe as other vehicle for hire options… GPS-equipped vehicles may reduce some of the perception’.

City administration has determined that the average installation of the GPS hardware would come in just over $83, with a monthly monitoring expense of around $18 per car. Mayor Jackie Clayton says that information and data must be accessible if called upon.

“That system would have to be approved by the chief license inspector, who would be capable of tracking retrievable records for no less than 30 days,” she adds.

Only three of the city’s 12 vehicle-for-hire companies said they would welcome a new GPS tracking system, with a further three suggesting they have similar programming in place, and one not backing the idea based on the cost, timing, and privacy concerns.

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However, Clayton says with less than a month of build-up time on the discussion, she appreciates feedback overall.

“I don’t think it’s a reflection of that they didn’t want to respond, I just feel that sometimes people are busy,” she says.

“This was a very quick turnaround from industry, so I’m quite happy with the response.”

It’s expected council will hold the vote at its upcoming meeting on April 19th.

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