Saskatoon taxi drivers petition metropolis corridor to assist curb thefts

SASKATOON —
A group of nearly 80 taxi drivers in Saskatoon are petitioning the City of Saskatoon to change how drivers collect cab fares saying the current system leaves room for fraud and theft.

In a letter to the city’s transportation committee meeting on Monday, a group of 78 people identifying as frontline taxi drivers in Saskatoon, said drivers are constantly facing losses in revenue due to customers not paying their taxi fares at the end of the trip.

The group is calling on the city to change how fares are collected. In its letter the group of drivers said it wants passengers and customers to pay upfront before the trip begins so drivers can avoid customers taking off without paying.

“In such cases the cab operator was left with no option but to call police or go to the police station and lodge a complaint which did not result in recovery of the fare in most cases,” the letter states.

The group acknowledges police reports don’t end in recovery of fares because customers tend to provide false addresses, or the amount of the fare is not substantial enough for police to launch an investigation. But the group said several small amounts of cab fares lost equals a sizable amount in the end.

The group of taxi drivers said technology already exists where drivers can calculate an approximate distance for a trip, and they want the City to change the bylaw governing the taxi industry, allowing taxi drivers to demand a deposit from the customer before the start of the trip.

“It can be done by calculating the distance of travel. Technology is available with the taxi-brokerages to calculate and a tentative amount can be reached,” the letter states.

In a case where the trip ends with an amount more than the deposit, the customer pays the difference, the letter states.

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