Updating B.C. taxi fares aim of $67,000 cabbie survey

Drivers questioned about vehicle ownership and costs, service areas, work hours

A survey of B.C. taxi drivers about cab operating costs will be used to determine future fare structures, says the provincial Passenger Transportation Board.

The board is surveying interested drivers through an online survey June 26 to July 9 at a cost of $67,000.

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Board chair Catharine Read said rates have been set based on historic ones and were adjusted with changes in the Consumer Price Index.

But, she explained, there are variable costs operators face such as insurance, gas and other outlays in order to operate.

“Until we get the basic information, it’s hard to determine rates,” Read said.

The survey is hosted online by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Initial questions are about vehicle ownership – whether a driver owns the vehicle alone or with others or if they drive for someone else. It also asks about financing if there is vehicle ownership.

The survey asks drivers about what areas they serve, times of work, vehicle usage, vehicles rental, insurance, licence fees, fuel costs and association or radio fees.

It also asks who pays vehicle maintenance costs, the most common repair issues.

The survey was commissioned by the board and is being done by U.K.-based Taxi Research Partners.

Read said the board researched companies available to do such work and found six companies – four of them in Canada.

She said none of the Canadian companies responded to invitations to submit quotes for the work.

Neither BC Taxi Association president Mohan Kang nor the Vancouver Taxi Association’s Carolyn Bauer could be reached for comment.

jhainsworth@glaciermedia.ca

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