Taxicabs get reprieve as council kills fine idea
They’re often the first contact for tourists arriving in Kamloops, but cabbies will not be facing any extra pressure to keep their cars clean.
After a close show of hands, city council has voted against recommendations for stiffer fines for taxi owners who fail to show for, or pass, annual inspections.
A city report was proposing a $150 fine for any taxi that is not made available for inspection at the time and location required by the inspector, along with a $75 re-inspection fee for any cab that fails an inspection.
Other proposed additions to the bylaw included prohibiting a vehicle to return to service until all fees are paid.
However, several councillors felt the recommendations were too harsh and, by a 4-4 vote, the motion failed.
Coun. Nancy Bepple said she has been in numerous cabs in Kamloops and feels they’ve been in reasonable standards compared to other cities, while Coun. Denis Walsh called the fine scheme “onerous.
“It seem a little heavy-handed to me,” he said.
Mayor Peter Milobar and Coun. Tina Lange also voted against the recommendations.
Coun. Jim Harker argued for the fines.
Len Hrycan, the city’s director of corporate and community affairs, said the fine proposal was brought forward to address the lengthy delays inspectors have come across the last year.
He suggested cabs are putting off inspections because they might not pass.
According to the results of the last round of taxi inspection this past spring, 55 per cent of Yellow Cabs/Kamloops Transportation Ltd. were not in compliance for cleanliness and maintenance, while 19 per cent of Kami Cabs failed inspection.
Hrycan pointed out cab companies have made big strides since the city got tough a few years back with its vehicle-for-hire bylaw.
But, Hyrcan added compliance has started to slip.
“We seem to be in a situation where we’re falling off a little bit,” he said. “I think these proposed changes to the structure do not have to hit them in the pocketbook, if they take on the due diligence and provide what we have deemed to be a reasonable level of service and quality for the cab.”
The report also noted all taxi operators are in compliance with having at least 60 per cent of fleet vehicles seven years old or newer, and all drivers have completed Good Host training.