A story first brought to you by CityNews a few days ago about a woman claiming she was being refused a cab ride because she was only going a short distance prompted a viewer to reach out to us.
Amanda Davis’s friend, Ariela Navarro Fenoy, was killed outside Muzik nightclub in 2015 just moments after they were refused rides by multiple cabs who didn’t want to take what amounted to a $10 fare. Davis says she is upset to hear this is still happening two years after the alarm was raised on the illegal practice.
“I felt really upset and angry because it’s something I feel like it doesn’t get enough light shed on the issue,” said Davis. “I feel like this happens every single day with men and women, and it makes me really upset because I feel like tougher penalties should be in place because it has lead to a death.”
A city bylaw says cabs are not allowed to refuse a fare except under specific circumstances, and they could face a penalty of $500 for doing so.
We reached out to the city to see just how often this is happening but what is more telling is how few of the complaints lead to penalties. Last year out of 267 complaints to the city, only 22 cabbies were actually fined.
Mike Stones, manager of the Vehicle for Hire Enforcement Unit, with the City of Toronto’s Municipal Licensing and Standards says the biggest problem is that people don’t realize that they can make a complaint.
“With the appropriate supporting evidence, we would take that driver to the Toronto licensing tribunal,” he said. “The remedies are anywhere from a probation period to temporary suspension to total license revocation.”