The City of Winnipeg is set to launch a new pilot project enforcing mandatory taxi pre-payment, for the next nine months.
Starting Sept. 30, between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., seven days a week, all taxi passengers will have to pay a $10 deposit at the beginning of their ride, regardless of its length.
At the end of the trip, the passenger will pay the remainder of the fare or be refunded if the amount is less than $10.
The city said the goal of the pilot is to determine if mandatory pre-payment will reduce fare disputes in taxis.
“We’ve consistently heard that fare disputes have been identified as one of the main sources of conflict in taxis,” said Coun. Matt Allard, chairperson of the standing policy committee on infrastructure renewal and public works.
“Through this pilot, we hope to find out if mandatory pre-payment will help make taxi rides a safer and more equitable experience for both drivers and passengers.”
All payment methods will be accepted for the deposit and refunds could be issued as cash regardless of the initial form of pre-payment.
During the time pre-payment is enforced, drivers will decline to transport passengers who do not make a deposit.
The following exclusions will apply to pilot:
- Taxi passengers beginning their trip at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport
- Taxi passengers who present a valid taxi voucher
- Taxi passengers who maintain an account with the taxi dispatcher
- Personal transportation providers (rideshare) or limousines
The city said during the pilot it will monitor the number of fare disputes and customer feedback to determine its next step.