Sylvan Lake town council on Monday night gave first reading to a bylaw that would see taxi rates increased in town.
The town’s current taxi bylaw, which stipulates fares charged by taxis within Sylvan Lake, came into effect in 2008. Fares in town haven’t changed since then.
Town staff say the only two taxi companies currently operating in town recently indicated a need for an increase in fares, but didn’t agree on how large that increase should be.
New rates in the bylaw —which proposes a $5 flat rate increase from $10 to $15 — arrived as the result of research carried out by town staff, as well as consultations with the two local taxi companies.
The bylaw also proposes an amendment that would allow for more taxi companies to apply for taxi licence plates in town.
The current bylaw states that plates may be issued only to qualified applicants with at least a year’s experience in the taxi industry prior to applying. The amendment proposes to remove that stipulation all together.
The result, according to town staff, would be an enhanced opportunity for outside taxi companies to operate in Sylvan Lake, ultimately benefitting town residents.
“We’ve had a lot of comments and complaints that cabs just aren’t available in Sylvan Lake, and (people) are waiting for hours,” said licensing inspector Rae-Anne Ornella. “This is to open it up to other companies that have expressed interest.”