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By-law another milestone in City’s Taxi Services Review

As part of the City’s Taxi Services Review, City Council has instructed staff to prepare a draft by-law for the licensing and regulation of Vehicles for Hire within the City of Fredericton.

“Council has heard from residents that they are interested in the City exploring the potential for ride-sharing as a travel option.” said Coun. Kevin Darrah, Chair of the City’s Transportation Committee. “We’re happy to be taking the next steps towards creating a by-law”.

A by-law is required to allow a ride-sharing business to operate within the City. Although both taxis and ride-sharing companies provide transportation for gain, their business models are different and therefore need to be regulated differently.

Taxis can be hailed on the street, booked by telephone, dispatched by radio, have passengers wait at taxi stands and accept several forms of payment including cash.  Ride-sharing operators connect passengers to vehicles via an electronic platform. The application allows for the identification of the driver, vehicle and plate number, a rating system for the driver, and accepts payment exclusively by electronic means.

As per the Taxi Services Survey results of May 2019, an overwhelming majority of the public (92.43%) indicated they would use an app to book a taxi, to know who is driving the car, where the car is located and how long until it arrives.

The survey also indicated that two thirds of the public (66.77%) have used a ride-sharing service in another city. When asked whether they would use a ride-sharing service should it be established in Fredericton, eight of ten survey respondents (83%) said they would.

Following ongoing concerns that the needs of the community aren’t being met, the City started a Taxi Services Review.  Starting in 2018, meetings were held with local businesses agencies, business owners and taxi companies.

In addition, related research and a public survey were conducted in 2019 and recommendations were brought back to City Council in November 2019.  The recommendations included details related to a metered fare system, and a Vehicle for Hire / Ride Sharing by-law. The draft by-law is expected to be brought forward to City Council in the following month.

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