By Rhonda Massad
A public consultation on both the safety of taxi drivers and the development of the taxi industry, in April 2014 was held in response to a taxi driver’s death in 2013. Following the public consultation, the Commission on Transport and Public Works of the City of Montreal recommended the Bureau du taxi de Montréal (MTB) submitted a report recommending new safety requirements for taxis along with a push to increase the number of universal vehicles in the Montreal taxi fleet to meet the growing needs of the elderly or those with physical limitations was tabled in the fall of last year.
Safety for drivers and passengers alike were the focus of the report that recommended mandatory installation of cameras inside taxis (with certain measures to be implemented to control access to images recorded by these cameras), mandatory installation of GPS devices in all taxis, greater use of electronic payment systems (to help reduce cash transactions), increase the number of electric vehicles within the fleet, examine opportunities to increase revenues and/or reduce expenses ( such as advertising and group insurance).
The report also took a look at a greener taxi fleet by recommending an expanded fleet of hybrid and electric taxis as well as expanding recharging infrastructure to accommodate more electrified vehicles.
The policy encourages taxi drivers to become brand ambassadors for Montreal recommending a more uniform, signature look with one distinctive color for the fleet and professional standards for all drivers.
Director-general of the MTB, Benoît Gugand told The West Island Blog in an earlier interview that one of his first orders of business will be to assess the needs of Montreal’s growing senior population. He said that MTB’s development and communications department will conduct studies to assess seniors’ evolving needs.
According to Gugand, $2.6 million of the $3.4 million taxi budget comes from revenue generated by taxi permits. The remaining difference will come from Montreal and de-merged cities’