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B.C. taxi industry calls for relief amid record-breaking gas prices

Click to play video: 'Commercial drivers call for relief amid record-breaking B.C. gas prices' Commercial drivers call for relief amid record-breaking B.C. gas prices
Taxi and limo drivers are calling on provincial regulators for some relief from soaring fuel costs as Metro Vancouver's record-high gas prices prompt some commuters to seek cheaper alternatives. Kristen Robinson reports – Mar 5, 2022

The British Columbia taxi industry is calling for help from the province, as the price of gas continues to set new records in the province.

On Sunday, prices were observed as high as $2.09.9 in parts of Metro Vancouver.

Read more: Gas prices continue to hit new records. Here’s how to save at the pump

“This is hurting us much more. Everybody doesn’t need to be on the road. We do, as an essential service,” B.C. Taxi Association president Mohan Kang told Global News.

Unlike the shipping sector, taxis can not raise their prices to offset high fuel costs. Taxi meter prices are regulated by B.C.’s Passenger Transportation Board.

Kang said the board has the power to step in and allow a temporary fuel surcharge on taxi fares to help drivers handle fuel prices.

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Click to play video: 'B.C. experiences a major spike in gas prices' B.C. experiences a major spike in gas prices
B.C. experiences a major spike in gas prices – Mar 5, 2022

In 2008, the board allowed a fuel surcharge of 3.5 per cent when rapidly increasing gas prices topped a then-shocking $1.35 per litre.

“We should have done things yesterday. They knew the price was going up,” he said.

“The extra money is (coming) out of the drivers’ pockets, which is hurting them.”

Read more: Gas prices in Metro Vancouver now over $2 a litre

The Passenger Transportation Board says its annual taxi and limo cost index review is underway, which will identify room for a potential rate increase for taxis based on the consumer price index, which measures inflation.

Kang said that measure won’t capture the rapid rise of gas prices.

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— with files from Kristen Robinson

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