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. File / Global News

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.

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“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.

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

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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.

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