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Alberta town of Strathmore finds itself without a legal taxi service

Strathmore resident Roberta Lohvinenko depends on the town's taxi companies to get around during the winter months. .
Strathmore resident Roberta Lohvinenko depends on the town's taxi companies to get around during the winter months. . Tim Lee / Global News

Bylaw officers in Strathmore, Alta. have been keeping an eye out for unlicensed cab companies who continue to operate within the town, according to its mayor.

“The taxi drivers did not come in for their broker permits and so, as a result, they weren’t able to get business license. So if they’re operating right now, they’re operating illegally,” Strathmore Mayor Pat Fule said in a recent interview.

“There have been ticketing methods going on. We’ve been doing a lot of ticketing as an enforcement department.”

Fule said the issues stem from a new bylaw the town passed last year and put in action this month, that adds extra requirements for drivers.

“The by-law consisted of mechanically sound vehicles that would be checked, smoke-free and clean and then the idea was to also have basic first aid for the drivers,” Fule said.

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“We don’t expect them to be paramedics as drivers, but we thought basic first aid would be something that would be good for everyone.”

READ MORE: First responders in Alberta urge public to be prepared for disasters

Global News tried to contact Strathmore’s taxi companies for an interview. One of the company’s phone numbers did not connect, while a man at another said he didn’t have time for an interview.

Fule said he hopes a resolution comes soon and indicated that the town has received “initial inquiries” from a separate group who may be willing to comply with the new rules.

“We do want our current taxi companies to be successful, we much rather have them stay and just be compliant with the bylaw,” he said.

Town resident Roberta Lohvinenko is hopeful a deal is struck; she relies on the town’s taxis to get around in the winter.

“With all the snow, I can’t push a cart or my walker or nothing, it’s hard,” Lohvinenko said.

“There’s a lot of people that depend on it.”

READ MORE: The unlicensed Richmond ride-hailing that allegedly won’t take non-Chinese fares

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