Vehicle for Hire By-law brings positive change

Improvements include increased safety measures and more accessible fleet

Traffic on Main Street in Winnipeg

One year after the Vehicles for Hire By-law took effect, the industry has been made safer and more accessible.

“The bylaw streamlined and modernized the Vehicle for Hire industry,” said Grant Heather, Manager of Vehicles for Hire.

As directed by Council, the bylaw came into effect March 1, 2018. It regulates and provides licensing oversight to the industry made up of taxis, limousines, luxury vehicles, and personal transportation providers.

Within the first year, more than 400 additional vehicles were available for residents and visitors to use to get around. This increase is directly related to the personal transportation providers now being allowed to operate in the City of Winnipeg.

The industry has also been made more accessible.  There were 60 new accessible taxi licenses issued at the end of 2018. That has increased the size of the accessible fleet by nine percent, with 22 percent of all taxis now being able to accommodate customers with accessibility requirements or who use of mobility-assistance devices, such as wheelchairs and scooters.

Improvements have also been made to increase the safety for drivers and passengers.

Audio recording has been mandated. Prior to the bylaw, taxicabs were only required to have video cameras. Larger storage memory cards are also required to ensure a longer video and audio recording period is retained.

He noted during a seven month period in 2018, a total of 12,883 inspections were done.  A further improvement includes a mobile enforcement team who continues to ensure ongoing compliance with the bylaw, as well as investigating complaints and working towards improved customer service.

To better understand the needs of the community and the industry, the Vehicles for Hire Advisory Committee was created. It meets every month to provide ongoing stakeholder engagement and ensure input and a balanced approach to compliance, safety, accessibility and additional improvements for the industry.    

The Vehicles for Hire annual report is was presented to Council on February 28, 2019 after having been reviewed by both the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works and Executive Policy Committee. Annual reports will be presented to Council over the next four years.  The next annual report is expected to be submitted in January, 2020.

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