‘Scared and in shock’: Winnipeg woman recalls terrifying cab experience
A Winnipeg woman is speaking out after she said she was threatened and harrassed by a Unicity Taxi cab driver Saturday.
Emily Wyman said she grabbed a cab from her St. Vital home and was headed to Osborne Village when she claims the cab driver said he would turn off the meter if Wyman gave him $20 cash to pay for the ride.
“I was looking out the window and realizing that I didn’t know where we are going. It wasn’t the way I asked him to go. He asked me if I was paying with cash, and I thought ‘OK there’s something going on here’,” Wyman said.
Wyman said she refused, and as the cab got to St. Mary’s Road, the driver stopped the car in the middle of the street and told her to give him money or get out of the car.
“It was kind of the moment where he stopped the car. We came to a full stop in the middle of the road where I was like, ‘Oh crap what’s happening, I’m in danger'”.
Wyman said she refused again and threatened to call police if he didn’t pull the car over to the side of the road. The driver did eventually pull over, at which time he demanded Wyman pay for the ride up to that point, she said.
Wyman said she ran for it and yelled at a group of people for help before the driver took off.
“I was left standing scared and in shock in a completely unfamiliar part of the city,” Wyman told Global News.
She said she has filed a complaint with Unicity.
“I don’t know if I will ever feel safe taking another taxi. This guy is still out there driving a Unicity taxi, and to me that says taking a taxi is not safe,” said Wyman.
Wyman said she knows similar things have happened to other people as well, and she wants as many people as possible to hear her story and think twice before calling a cab.
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Unicity Taxi said the driver has been suspended.
“We do feel bad about it, this is not how we want to do business here. But we take these kinds of complaints very seriously,” Paul Sandhu, president of the cab company said.
Sandhu claimed cabs are safer than other ride-sharing options available to Winnipeg passengers. He said there are cameras inside the cabs already to take photographs, but audio devices will be added inside all cabs in the next few months.
He said this makes taxis more safer than ride-sharing services.
“If you were to take a ride [with a] ride-sharing company, how would you know? No cameras, audio recording. This is the safest ride you can get in Winnipeg”.
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Sandhu added they are working on making improvements for passengers.
“In a few months, a new system is coming to taxis. You will be able to be voice-recorded. In case a serious complaint comes in to us or police, the police or vehicle for hire, they can listen to conversation inside cab.”
The City of Winnipeg regulates cab and ride-sharing companies. See the recommended process for filing complaints here.
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