The taxicab industry has slightly improved both the interior and exterior conditions of their vehicles respectively, according to the Ann Kalinowski, the Manager of Bylaw Enforcement for the City of Windsor.
All taxicabs are inspected twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring, and Kalinowski explained that the number of work orders issued for the last inspection in the fall had decreased to 41 from 57.
“There is a slight improvement, [and] we have a very good working relationship with the taxi cab industry,” explained Kalinowski, adding, “We meet on a quarterly basis to ensure we’re communicating any issues that could be out there, or things that we need to improve.”
Bylaw officers focus on both interior and exterior items when they do a review of a taxicab. “They want to make sure that it’s clean inside [and] outside, [that] there’s no rips, tears, that the windows open and close, [and] the trunk opens and closes…very cosmetic.”
Kalinowski indicated that there are other types of reviews which are completed by a mechanic, “and that is for the safe operation of the vehicle, but for bylaw enforcement, it’s really the interior and exterior, and the cosmetic pieces.”
There have been some problems with cameras which have been installed in taxicabs, “but the industry was very effective in ensuring that those were corrected, very quickly and expediently. They’ve been installed for a number of years, and the taxicab industry has indicated that there are some problems with regards to triggers working.”
When a door is opened, or the ignition is started, a trigger is activated which prompts the camera to rapidly take a series of sequential images.
Kalinowski indicated that the taxicab industry spoke with the manufacturer of the cameras to ensure that they were fixed as the cameras “keep the public safe, but also the drivers”.
While the most common bylaw infraction relates to cleanliness, Kalinowski commented that “it’s really hard for the industry to ensure that because there are so many members of the public that takes rides in their taxicabs.”
Kyle Bezaire travels by taxicab roughly once a month, and he indicated that he’s yet to have driven in a dirty cab.
“I don’t think I’ve been in a dirty cab,” commented Bezaire, adding, “they’re definitely clean 90% of the time. A day like today [with snow and slush conditions] [the exterior of the cab] would be dirty, but that wouldn’t bother me.”
Bezaire indicated that a strong foul odour would deter him from traveling via taxicab. He wouldn’t mind stained seats so long as the stains were dry “but if [the stain is] fresh, I’d be like [expletive] no.”
Jonathon Liedtke is the Features & Opinion Editor for the University of Windsor Lance Campus/Community Newspaper and a reporter for ourWindsor.ca. As a founding member and current Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee, he is committed to representing, connecting, engaging with and advocating for local youth. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.