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Vancouver taxi expert says he’s not surprised viral video showed driver refusing fare

Click to play video: 'Growing backlash over taxi service refusal video'
Growing backlash over taxi service refusal video
A cab driver is suspended and fined after refusing to drive a fare from Vancouver to New Westminster. The passenger gets a strong response when he posts the video on social media – Dec 11, 2017

An analyst who wrote his master’s thesis on Vancouver’s taxi industry says he was not surprised after a video surfaced showing a taxi driver refusing to take a passenger to New Westminster.

Benn Proctor, who’s currently an analyst with the Wilson Center in Washington D.C., says taxi lobbyists are to blame, as they have done a good job keeping cab demand high.

LISTEN: Talking to the taxi patron who was refused a ride because he lived “too far” away

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“When you’re at times of peak demand – so Christmas season when the parties are going and when people want to take cabs – and there are not enough of them around, taxi drivers will often refuse rides,” said Proctor.

“They know it’s more profitable to get the next guy, keep trips [and] stay in the area.”

WATCH: Video shows cabbie refusing to drive a fare from Vancouver to New Westminster

Click to play video: 'Video shows cabbie refusing to drive a fare from Vancouver to New Westminster'
Video shows cabbie refusing to drive a fare from Vancouver to New Westminster

Politicians haven’t done enough to make regulations around the industry more consumer-friendly, said Proctor.

He says passengers are losing out because of the limited amount of taxi licenses and the province is keeping its foot on the brake when it comes to ride-hailing services.

READ MORE: Vancouver taxi driver refuses to drive man home because New Westminster is ‘too far’

Read next: U.S. shoots down suspected Chinese spy balloon over Atlantic ocean

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“I thought there’s no way that Uber and Lyft and others would not be operating in 2018 or 2017, but the taxi cab lobbyists have been really effective. The politicians have been ineffective for the consumer and the passenger.”

The video put the taxi industry back under the microscope. The driver shown in the video has since been suspended.

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

Read next: Looking for a used car? Everything to know about Canada’s cooling market

An independent review into the taxi industry and ride-hailing is currently underway, with a report not due until 2018, and a legislative committee is currently reviewing a Green Party bill on the service.

~With files from Simon Little

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