Winnipeg cabbies have the right to ask for money upfront says taxi board

Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais
APTN National News
Last Friday night in Winnipeg Glenna Henderson called a cab to get home.

She was alone and got in the back seat of the cab.

The cabbie immediately asked if she has money and she reached in her pocket.

“I showed it to him and says ‘give it to me.’ I said ‘I’m not going to give it to you. I want you to take me home first,’” Henderson recalled.

Are you going to give me trouble?” Henderson said the drivers asks.

She told him she just wants to go home but isn’t paying upfront, so the drivers kicks her out.

It’s not an uncommon story in Winnipeg.

There were about 120 similar complaints in 2015 to the Winnipeg Taxi Board.

Those complaints more than doubled last year to 264.

Randy Williams is the chairperson of the Taxicab Board of Manitoba and said if money was shown the driver should have taken Henderson home.

But Williams said drivers do have the right to ask for money up front.

“It’s up the driver’s discretion whether he feels he needs to ask for fare in advance or whether he feels a fare might be threatening to him,” he said.

Late last month, the board released its findings of a review of taxicab services.

It came with 40 recommendations to improve service in Winnipeg.

One is making it mandatory to pay upfront during late night shifts.

Driver Jaspal Bedi thinks the move could ease problems in the city.

“That would be great,” Bedi said.

Bedi has been a driver in Winnipeg for 20 years and has seen an increase in cab ditching.

“Just in the past 10 months, over 600 trips that didn’t pay us. That skipped out and the total for that is over $20,000,” he said.

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6 thoughts on “Winnipeg cabbies have the right to ask for money upfront says taxi board

  1. I like the idea of charging everyone upfront although I am unsure of how one can pre pay for a ride if they are unsure of the cost. Additionally, allowing people to use descretion to charge up front is a terrible idea in a city and industry rife with racism. I would love to know what number of the complaints that came in were from Indigenous people. I would bet it’s a drastic over representation.

  2. Not fare, what if they take you long way? I know they love inuit and people others that are from out of the city.

  3. Upfront for every one 24/7 policy for everyone no matter who.
    And better ways of deali g with co paint ofdriver who take the long way or other gouging methods

  4. If they want to be paid up-front then the money needs to be traceable/trackable. I hear too many stories from women where the cabbies stole their money and kicked them out, or refused to give change.

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