Review of Halifax taxi industry to be made public in February
A long-awaited review of the Halifax taxi industry will be made public next month at a meeting of the municipality’s transportation standing committee, staff with the Halifax Regional Municipality confirmed on Monday.
The news came on the same day that the high-profile retrial of a Halifax taxi driver accused of sexual assault began and police announced new charges of sexual assault against another taxi driver.
The report is expected to examine a litany of issues, including service delivery, passenger and driver safety measures such as audio/video recording and emergency alarm buttons, cultural sensitivity training, services to persons with disabilities, incorporating new technology including smartphone applications and audible meters.
The last time the Halifax taxi industry was reviewed was in 1994, and municipal staff have said they are long overdue for an update.
But the impetus of the report was the number of sexual assault allegations made against taxi drivers. The report was done with the goal of making the industry safer for customers and drivers.
Bassam Al-Rawi, a former Halifax taxi driver accused of sexually assaulting an intoxicated female passenger in 2015, was one of the drivers.
On Monday, Al-Rawi appeared in court after an acquittal was overturned last January by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.
Along with Al-Rawi and the unnamed driver charged on Monday, two other taxi drivers have faced charges of inappropriate conduct.
WATCH: Sexual assault re-trial of former Halifax taxi driver begins
Last spring, Halifax taxi driver Seyed Mirsaeid-Ghazi — accused of groping a female passenger — was found not guilty of sexual assault.
In another case, the Crown dropped a sexual assault charge against cabbie Farset Mohammad last May, saying there was no realistic prospect of conviction.
— With files from the Canadian Press
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