It just gets tougher and tougher to be a taxi driver these days. As if navigating never-ending road work detours in an effort to provide good service, after having shelled out over $200,000 to get a taxi permit in the first place was not bad enough, Montreal city council has just passed a law that requires taxi drivers to get out of their cars and open the door for passengers when getting in or out of the taxi! When I heard about this on the morning news I had to check the calendar as I thought it was an April Fool’s Day prank.
In addition taxi drivers must dress appropriately and have clean cars; no problem, I can understand that one. But requiring drivers to be running about in traffic to open doors just seems like a waste of time to me. Cabbies have been having a tough time with Uber lately, so a little sprucing up of their cars and the odd bit of politeness may help keep their clientele.
Montreal already has some of the worst traffic conditions in Canada. Old roads being repaired, new construction sites causing detours are but two factors that contribute to drivers’ frustrations. Now add into that mix taxis that can no longer zip over to and pick up a flagging customer then pop back into the flow of traffic but now have to stop, get out and open the door. How many drivers will lose doors, and hopefully not their lives, as they quickly dash around their car? How many (more) cyclists will be ‘doored’ by taxi drivers adhering to the new rule?
I have to believe most fares will open the door and get in before the driver has a chance to do so. Will this result in a fine being levied?