October 25, 2017 10:08 pm
Updated: October 25, 2017 10:18 pm

Taxi refusals jumped by 50 per cent between 2015 and 2016: PTB

The number of formal complaints over taxi refusals climbed by 50 per cent between 2015 and 2016.

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New numbers show a growing number of complaints against taxi companies for refusing services, as the provincial government faces increasing pressure to speed up the implementation of ride-hailing services.

There were 60 official complaints against taxi drivers for ride refusal in 2016, a 50 per cent increase from 2015, according to the Passenger Transportation Branch (PTB),

There were penalties for 11 drivers, which ranged from suspensions to fines.

“Generally, for a taxi refusal that we can substantiate, where the registar has seen maybe a pattern with an individual company, they start at $500,” said PTB registrar Kristin Vanderkuip.

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But while complaints have climbed, the numbers remain a drop in the bucket with millions of rides taken each year.

“The last four years it’s ranged from 30 in 2014, peaked last year with 60 complaints of taxi refusals, and so far this year we’ve had 41,” Vanderkuip said.

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However, Vanderkup said the number of formal complaints doesn’t represent the actual number of trip refusals on the street.

“What we get is a good idea of the types of refusals that there are so that we can work with the industry as a whole on the trends,” she said.

READ MORE: Vancouver taxi expert says B.C. dragging its heels on Uber

“So even if we are not getting all the complaints, we do have a good assessment for the reasons for the complaints.”

Earlier this week, an expert in the Vancouver taxi industry said the province should take steps to speed up implementation of ride-hailing services like Uber.

The NDP government has commissioned a new study on the taxi industry, which is due next year.

It said the earliest date upon which ride-hailing would come to the province could be next fall.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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