News » Whistler

Taxi company gets more consultation on operating bylaw



After a plea from the general manager of the Whistler Taxi Companies, council agreed not to adopt a new vehicle operating bylaw at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Instead council pledged to keep up the "positive discussion" with the taxi company and examine their concerns with the current bylaw.

Both Eric Larsen, general manager of the Whistler Taxi Companies, and his lawyer Brian Canfield, highlighted some major concerns with the Vehicles for Hire bylaw at the meeting.

They say the bylaw does not apply to all passenger transportation companies in Whistler, like limousines and hotel shuttles. For example, in one section of the current bylaw it states that taxi drivers must have photo identification, but this is not required in other types of vehicles.

As such, Larsen and Canfield argued that "there is no level playing field" in the bylaw.

Another bylaw requirement calls on the taxi company to pick up passengers in the order that they call.

They argued that this was an "unworkable requirement."

Larsen said another onerous requirement in the bylaw was the provision that all cars must be kept clean inside and out all times.

He said you could wash a car in Whistler during the winter and 20 minutes later it would look dirty.

After hearing their complaints, council decided not to consider the bylaw at the meeting until having further discussions with passenger vehicle companies in Whistler.

Councillor Nick Davies said this is the first time the municipality has had positive discussions with the taxi company in 20 years. He said council could choose to pass the bylaw and then make amendments later or they could just hold off for the time being.

He said it was "worthwhile having further discussion."

Municipal staff will work on the bylaw in coming week and bring it back to council before the winter season.