Taxis want piece of Ottawa’s bus-only lanes

Taxis want in on select bus-only lanes on city streets.

Cabs are a mode of public transportation, just like OC Transpo, said Ontario Taxi Union Local 1688 president Amrik Singh, and in Gatineau, cabs can use all bus lanes.

Stretches of Woodroffe Ave., Baseline Rd., and Hwy. 174 are desired, while the Transitway is excluded.

Cabbies are currently allowed to use Slater and Albert Sts. and Montreal Rd.

“In 20 years, we’ve never had a complaint,” said Singh.

Bus union head Craig Watson says otherwise.

“(Taxis) cause problems for the bus, ’cause all of a sudden they’ll see somebody waving their hand and then they stop,” forcing operators to slam the brakes, said Watson.

Bay Ward Coun. Mark Taylor, who’s chairman of the community and protective services committee, said he supports the idea of letting cabs access some bus lanes, however, “we have a little bit of homework to do between now and actually, you know, bringing anything forward.”

On Woodroffe between Algonquin College and the Nepean Sportsplex, “it probably makes good sense to let taxis have access to it,” said Taylor.

But bus stops litter Woodroffe, so “the cabs are going to be darting in and out of traffic, creating traffic hazards,” Watson said.

Carling Ave., near Carlingwood Mall is another option.

“I think it’s important to recognize that the taxi system is part of the transit options that are available in the city,” said Taylor .

“The systems do rub together.”


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