Getting into an unlicensed taxi is like hitchhiking; you never know what you’re getting into, warns the city’s taxi association.
Roger Richard, head of the city’s taxi advisory committee, said the association is concerned with the growing problem of unlicensed taxis picking up passengers in the city.
“It’s a serious problem because like hitchhiking, you never know who you are getting into the cab with. It’s very dangerous,” Richard said.
While licensed drivers go through a police check, training and medical exams, unlicensed taxi drivers do not and could also have mechanical and safety problems with the vehicles.
“For the safety of Calgarians, they should not be taking unlicensed vehicles.”
Richard said only 10 people have been charged in Calgary recently, with fines ranging up to $3,000 if they are caught. He admits the problem is much bigger in Edmonton where 200 people have been charged.
Richard said passengers should only get into taxis with the proper licence plates and identification. There are approximately 1,400 licensed taxis in Calgary.