Now that Calgary taxi drivers are able to park next to downtown fire hydrants, the city’s parking authority is recommending they turn over their traditional stand spaces for public use — or pay for them.
Troy McLeod currently serves as the authority’s manager but devised a plan to open 130 parking spaces next to downtown fire hydrants while steering the city’s roads department.
He said it may now be time to review other potential uses for downtown taxi stand stalls.
“If the taxi industry wants to retain the spaces, we are saying they could pay 50 per cent of the value for the stall and partner with the city,” McLeod said.
He added that at a meeting in March taxi groups expressed a desire to retain the majority of 61 stalls currently located in 24-7 taxi stand areas.
'There was a demand for space, now there’s less of a demand for space' - Troy McLeod CPA general manager
But Calgary Livery Association head Len Bellingham said he doesn’t believe companies like his — Mayfair Taxi — should be required to pay.
“Excuse me, (city officials) are always saying you want more taxis in the core to help people get home and everything else and now you’re going to start making them pay to park down there,” he said. “That’s kind of working against things.”
The parking authority recommendation is now being reviewed by the city’s transportation department. If approved down the road, taxi companies would be forced to fork out $5 monthly per taxi license for each stall retained.