To assist taxi cab owners through the pandemic, the City of Yellowknife is considering the extension of the nine-year maximum lifespan for vehicles used as taxis.

“Covid has not only affected the ability of taxi drivers to make a living, but it also has created labour and supply chain difficulties that are driving new vehicle pricing much higher, as there are less cars being made,” wrote Walid Mohamed, a Yellowknife cab driver, in a letter to the city in October. “This has also created a price increase in good used vehicles. Overall, this is a very bad time to try replace a vehicle in a struggling marketplace.”

According to the municipality, as of Dec. 31, 2021, there were six taxis that were considered out of service in Yellowknife due to exceeding the city’s age limit.

The Governance and Priorities Committee, which met on Feb. 21, began discussing a one-year extension for cab operating limits, addressing factors such as safety checks and caretaking standards. Then city council members started looking into the possibility of no limits for the vehicles’ operating age.

“I think that that’s great,” said Coun. Niels Konge. “Because we’re already doing (safety checks), I wouldn’t put an age limit on the taxis at all. So my recommendation would be that we move forward, we maintain these inspections, as we are doing, and after six years of age, they need to go in for twice a year (inspections), and they can run those taxis until they decided they don’t want to run them anymore. I think that would be quite reasonable.”

Councillors Robin Williams, Steve Payne, and Cynthia Mufandaedza were all in agreement.

The item is on the agenda to be discussed again at the next city council meeting on Feb. 28

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