Vancouver police are investigating after a taxi was captured on camera driving along one of the city’s downtown separated bike lanes.
The video was captured by a visitor to Vancouver in town for a conference on transit issues on Sunday, who was travelling from the airport.
In the video, the cab can be seen travelling along the Dunsmuir bike path for about two blocks before merging back into normal traffic near Burrard Street.
In a statement Wednesday, Surdell Kennedy Taxi said the cab driver has been suspended indefinitely without pay as the company investigates the incident.
The company further said it does not condone the behaviour and apologized on behalf of the driver.
Vancouver police said their traffic section was looking into the video and would speak with the driver once he was identified. Police said the driver could be slapped with a fine and a ticket under the Motor Vehicle Act.
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The passenger posted the video to social media, writing, “Wishing Vancouver had Uber and Lyft. Both of which would allow me to easily make a complaint in the app.”
Ridesharing Now for BC spokesperson Ian Tostenson said the video belies the argument that taxis are safer than rideshare.
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“What happens with a rideshare driver, if they have a major infraction — something they can’t explain — they’re taken off the system,” he said.
“They can’t accept rides, they can’t take rides. Whereas taxi drivers, had that video not been exposed, then I guess the drivers just keep driving the road.”
The timing of the video is not ideal for the taxi industry, coming just as companies launch a campaign arguing new rideshare regulations are unfair.
The industry argues that rideshare companies have an unfair advantage due to cheaper insurance, no zone boundaries and no caps on fleet sizes.