Tbnewswatch Local News
Tuesday July 7 2015
11:24 AM EDT
2014-02-18 at 11:29

Back to the city?

Thunder Bay Police Service Deputy Chief Andy Hay
Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
Thunder Bay Police Service Deputy Chief Andy Hay
By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

After nearly 20 years of being enforced by local police, taxi bylaws could be heading back to the city.

The Thunder Bay Police Service has administered licensing for taxis and limousines in the city since 1996. On Tuesday the police services board decided to ask city council to take the responsibility back as the tax bylaw doesn't fit within the function of a police force.

Deputy chief Andy Hay said cabs are part of a city's transportation plan, something police don't have expertise in. 

City development services manager Mark Smith agrees.

While it's too early to say what the cost of taking taxis on might be, Smith said the city's licensing and enforcement division will likely need some help.

"Right now demands on the division exceed the resources they have," he said.

Smith will now prepare a report looking at the request, which will likely be recommended by administration.

Coun. Brian McKinnon, who also chaired a taxi committee for the police services board, said dealing with taxis isn't a good use of police time. He thinks the move will get support from city council.

The main issues to users, high costs and low availability, are still out there though. McKinnon said those aren't simple matters. They'll need to be discussed with owners over time.

Also Tuesday the board heard that use of force from officers in Thunder Bay was 110 in 2013, up from 97 in 2012. That number includes 30 incidences of pointing a firearm, 62 handguns drawn and 36 times a firearm was discharged, each time for an animal. Hay said the department doesn't have concerns about the slight rise in numbers.

That report doesn't state that one call could be responsible for several use of force reports, which might bump the numbers up.


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barryhorowitz says:
You can whine and complain about prices all you want, they wont go down. If we had another company in the city then maybe some healthy competition would spark a change
2/19/2014 11:59:39 AM
keiths31 says:
I understand that the volume probably isn't there for our cab companies to charge less. But I was recently in LA and took a cab from the heart of downtown to Hollywood and the cab cost $25. New Years Eve I took a cab from Onion Lake Road to Westfort and it cost almost $50. Volume doesn't equate to a 100% increase in price for traveling 1/10 of the distance.
2/19/2014 9:10:16 AM
tbay37 says:
As for available cabs in this city, it is very easy for Roach's to put their cars out on the road, as for Diamond and Superior, you go by their locations over half of the fleet is parked on the lot at any giving time of day and night. And the majority of people phoning for a cab is phoning Roach's putting the pressure on Roach's to keep up. The city should retake all the taxi licenses and operate the business like they did with the hagi buses. Call all transportation services; "Thunder Bay Transit" from buses to accessible buses to taxis, put everything under one roof.
2/19/2014 4:59:56 AM
unknowncronik says:
im sure the stupidest option will win as usual...

this town needs to wake up
2/19/2014 3:46:03 AM
Common cents says:
Taxi fares in this City are way out of line,,, When leaving the airport your at $8.00 when you get to the 1st set of lights!
2/18/2014 7:02:41 PM
kaseybear says:
I can't understand why the police were given the job in the first place?
2/18/2014 12:03:34 PM
Papercut says:
Perhaps they can look at the fee structure as well......pretty lucrative for the cab companies, but brutally expensive for customer.
2/18/2014 12:00:28 PM
The Cougar says:
No shot to Thunder Bay Police, but this explains why the taxi service in this city is so pathetic. Why were they ever in charge of that? Hopefully in the next few years we see more licensed taxis, lower fares, and more availability.
2/18/2014 11:46:34 AM
Synical says:
They were never in charge of how the cabs were run, just the licensing for the drivers.
2/18/2014 6:28:08 PM
S Duncan says:
Incorrect. The police had much more involvement than just the licensing for the drivers.

Every new cab had to meet the approval of the inspecting officer, the city also mandated use of reflector tape, and lighting issues.. all well beyond what the Ontario government already OKs for vehicles by law.

The city has interfered too much with this private industry and that interference does nothing but drive up costs.

Everybody that complains about the prices needs to realize that fuel is not free. Insurance costs are higher than ever as well as vehicle repairs/maintenance.

If you think cabs are too expensive, drive your own car and see what it costs. If you still think its too expensive, then start your own cab company.

but you cant, because the city has control over the number of cabs we can have.

tell the city to get lost and you will see the healthy competition that will drive down rates.

capitalism works perfectly when government stays out of the way. Go away CoTB bureaucrats!
2/19/2014 3:34:19 PM
yqtyqt says:
"While it's too early to say what the cost of taking taxis on might be, Smith said the city's licensing and enforcement division will likely need some help."

I have no problem transferring responsibility back to the City. I do have a problem if the $$$ that go with this aren't transferred back to the City.

The most economical way to deal with taxi enforcement should be found. But this shouldn't be a tax and money grab for the police dept.

Timmy should jump in and cut this line item from the highly paid cops budget and transfer it to the less highly paid city budget.

Fair is fair with all things being equal. Where does the taxpayers fairness come in.
2/18/2014 11:37:42 AM
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