Should cabbies be able to ask for a portion of payment upfront, when services have yet to be rendered?

The Land Use, Planning and Transportation committee is meeting today to discuss several new recommendations to the livery transport bylaws, including allowing taxi drivers to collect a reasonable cash deposit if they feel the fare might not pay at the end of the trip.

Roger Richard, president of Associated Cabs, applauds the recommendation and said it stems mainly from people failing to pay their fare at night or when drunk.

“Because there are a lot of runners and it’s an issue of our drivers when people don’t pay. It would just happen in those instances, perhaps at night for long distances,” Richard said.

Calgarian John Rocher often uses cabs at night, and while he doesn’t disagree with the recommendation completely, he worries about the implications.

“How much are they allowed to take? What if they take more than they should ... will they not let you in if you don’t show them cash,” he asks.

But Ward 4 Ald. Bob Hawkesworth doesn’t anticipate the recommendation would be abused.

“I can understand the cab drivers in certain circumstances feeling the need to do this, but as long as it doesn’t become standard business practice,” Hawkesworth said, adding if people complained it could be revisited.