BUSU, taxi companies, reach agreement

Brock University students and taxis go hand in hand. Taxis allow students without cars to get to and from campus after buses stop running. Brock students, in turn, provide a steady source of income for drivers. Recognizing the importance of the relationship between students and the taxi companies, Brock University Student’s Union (BUSU) held a meeting with the taxi companies Monday, Nov. 19 to discuss some recent problems between students and taxi drivers.

BUSU’s primary concern was recent confusion over fares. Brock students receive a discounted rate, which was implemented to reduce drinking and driving by students, says Dave Schilz, general manager of Central Taxi.

If students believe they are being overcharged, Paul Fitzgerald of 5-0 Taxi suggests they request the driver call into the dispatcher to correct any discrepancy. Alternately, Fitzgerald suggests students obtain a receipt, take note of the cab number, found about six inches from the door, and note the time and date of the ride before calling a complaint to the company.

By doing these three things, Fitzgerald says he can better pinpoint the driver in question. He says that students often do not provide him with enough details for him to deal with errant drivers.

“It has to be specific or I can’t legitimately pursue a complaint,” said Fitzgerald.

He made it clear the company will take action if they find a driver is doing something wrong.

“It will be dealt with internally, but no complaint will be overlooked and all complaints will be handled.”

Schilz agrees that this is an acceptable way to deal with problems and says he feels the relationship between his company and Brock is “very valuable,” and hopes it will continue.

Duncan Small, BUSU president, says he made a few requests to the companies, including changes to acceptable designated pick up and drop off points on campus. Taxi drivers are being encouraged to pick up fares at the Schmon Tower, Stairwell 18 at the DeCew residence and the front lobbies of Valley and Earp. They ask that students living in Village stay put until a driver knocks on their door. BUSU is trying to cut down on random hailing of cabs on campus, which Small says “is simply dangerous.”

BUSU asked the companies to discontinue driving down meter road and the curve around the Student Alumni Centre to reduce traffic flow on campus.

The taxi companies asked that students wishing to hail a cab not jump out in front of them, which they say drivers experience on a regular basis. They also encourage patience from students after the bars let out. Fitzgerald says, “We have as many cars out at closing time as possible, but it’s difficult to accommodate everyone at the same time.”

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