New fee for taxi vomiters

  • Jul. 28, 2014 1:00 p.m.

If you drink, don’t drive. If you take a cab, don’t vomit, or you may have to pay $75 on top of your standard fare.The British Columbia Passenger Transportation Board has just changed its taxi rules, allowing companies and cab drivers to charge passengers who make a mess in their cars.”Passengers who soil or damage the interior of a vehicle with bodily fluids or solids may be required by driver or taxi company to pay a cleanup fee of $75 in addition to the meter rate or any other rate,” the new rule says.”I’m all for it,” said Gwaii Taxi driver Sherry Williams in Skidegate, “I’ve had to clean out my car a couple times. It took me like 45 minutes to clean it up. Thank goodness for rubber mats, or it would’ve took me a lot longer.”Mike Williamson, manager of Mile Zero Taxi in Masset, isn’t as optimistic about the new regulations.”You’ve got to be realistic. It’d be great if they were willing to pay, but good luck trying to get the money if they aren’t,” he said, “Who’s going to have $75 on them? We’re not going to waste our time and energy trying to track them down.”Fortunately, said Mr. Williamson, his company doesn’t deal with vomiting passengers very often.Bob Stratton, owner of Gwaii Taxi, said in his four years of management, there have only been a few vomit incidents.He said he imagines that enforcement will rely on the usual influence of transportation authorities and RCMP.Mr. Stratton said he thinks it’s a good idea and his only concern is that a fee may be unfair for those who vomit due to illness or motion sickness, not drunkenness.

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