June 4, 2019 9:40 pm

Port Coquitlam woman alleges she was taken ‘hostage’ by cab driver

WATCH: A Tri-Cities woman says a Bel-Air taxi driver virtually held her hostage in his cab after she refused to pay what she believed was an inflated fare.


Gayle Hunter says she’s now scared to use a taxi, alleging one driver recently took her hostage for several minutes.

The Port Coquitlam woman, who has mobility issues, says she took a Bel-Air taxi on May 24 to her job at Birchland Elementary School.

She says the driver failed to turn on the meter, then tried to overcharge her for the normally $7 route.

READ MORE: Coquitlam woman forced to wait hours for wheelchair-accessible taxi on Canada Day

She said when she mentioned the company had previously told her if the meter was off she wasn’t technically required to pay, he snapped and began to drive away from the school.

“I said to him, ‘Where are you taking me?'” says Hunter, who claims the driver allegedly told her he could take her anywhere he wanted.

WATCH: (June 13, 2018) TV host denied cab service, takes to social media

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Hunter’s usual seven-minute cab ride turned into a 15-minute nightmare, she said.

Coquitlam RCMP say they have investigated and that no criminal charges are being pursued.

Bel-Air Taxi officials, meanwhile, told Global News they had no comment.

READ MORE: Ride refusal: Jillian Harris says cab driver denied her a trip from Port Moody to downtown Vancouver 

Last year a wheelchair-bound disabled woman was left waiting three hours for a Bel-Air Taxi.

“It’s incredible frustrating. We’ve worked with this cab company repeatedly to let them know that’s not on. That Coquitam residents won’t be treated badly by the monopoly that is our taxi service,” said Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart.

Gayle says she hopes there will soon be ridesharing options. Her recent taxi experience, she says, has left her worried for herself — and others.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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