August is going to bring about a lot of changes to the world of taxi-transportation in Montreal. A slew of new policies, mandatory for all taxis, will be enforced next month, as part of Denis Coderre's new plan to increase the level of safety for both taxi drivers and passengers.
Montreal's new taxi regulations are being put in place after the city decided more safety precautions needed to be taken, based on a report from the taxi commission enacted in May. The report was inspired by last year's murder of taxi driver Ziad Bouzid in CDN.
Whether you like it or not, here are 5 changes to expect with cabbies in Montreal:
1. All taxis will have a surveillance camera installed to keep tabs on passengers
2. Any footage recorded by said cameras will only be available to the police (if something goes down in the cab)
3. GPS tracking systems will be installed in all cabs
4. Devices to allow passengers to pay on debit and credit will be mandatory
5. A uniform colour will be adopted by all taxis, like in NYC
Most of the changes make sense, and the only slightly unnerving one is the cabbie-cam, which will hopefully only be used by the police in special circumstances. Taxi drivers apparently only have issue with the colour change to all taxis.
A good chunk of money will be needed to fund Coderre's cab-initiative, and the project has yet to be quoted on cost. Coderre has stated a fund would be set up to cover the mandatory changes, which could get pricey if cameras and GPS need to be installed in every single taxi.
What do you think of Montreal's new taxi policies?
For more on all things Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte