There are increasing tensions between taxi drivers in Vancouver over allegations some are taking part in a lucrative scheme.
It’s called the “five dollar airport trip” and it involves bribing hotel staff for longer fares.
With tips, taxi trips to YVR can run into $50.
But one driver is alleging some cabbies ask hotel staff to call them directly on a cell phone, bypassing dispatch and leaving other drivers waiting in the queue.
Harpreet Sandhu works for Vancouver Taxi.
In a letter to Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson, he calls it a bribe paid to a doorman or a hotel staff in the form of a $5 bill to pick up a fare going to the airport.
He alleges this “under the table activity” has been occurring for many years, and has rigged the whole taxi industry of Vancouver. He says, “many drivers are disgruntled and distraught” because of it.
Carolyn Nauer with Vancouver Taxi Association says this is not the first time they hear about this scheme, and last year was no different.
“There were maybe six maybe seven drivers out of the 2000 drivers we have registered in Vancouver who have set up a mini-cartel last year.”
Nauer says only small hotels were involved.
The association says it will investigate the allegations, and the violating drivers may face penalties.
The city says it forwarded the complaint to the Vancouver police, which will review it starting next week.
With files from John Daly