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Red Deer’s Vehicle for Hire bylaw on hold for a month

The City of Red Deer tabled discussion on a new and improved Vehicle for Hire Bylaw until May 27. (File photo)

Red Deer cab drivers who oppose the municipality lifting the existing cap on taxi licenses will have to wait another month to find out how councillors vote on the issue.

An updated Vehicles for Hire bylaw was tabled for a month on Monday to allow city council to get more answers from administration.

Since Red Deer’s taxi industry has had city-imposed caps for the past century, some councillors saw a benefit to permitting more taxi licences gradually.

Coun. Victor Doerksen said he’s all for a competitive free-market system, but the time to lift the cap on cab licences was when the industry was started. To abruptly remove the cap now could cause “chaos” among brokerage companies, drivers — and even customers, added Doerksen.

He also preferred expanding local licences gradually.

Coun. Vesna Higham suggested not allowing any taxi company that already holds more than 25 or 30 per cent of available licences to be in the draw for more licences. She sees this as a way of preventing a veritable monopoly.

Higham wanted to know more about how this would affect the industry before taking a firm stance on it.

Mayor Ken Johnston directed administration to bring some responses back to council by May 27 when discussion will continue.

Lana Michelin

About the Author: Lana Michelin

Lana Michelin has been a reporter for the Red Deer Advocate since moving to the city in 1991.
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