City council passes new rules for taxi drivers, snowmobiles

 Whitehorse City Council adopted three bylaws on Monday night with little debate, including one that will require taxi companies to have one wheelchair-accessible vehicle available at all times.

Whitehorse City Council adopted three bylaws on Monday night with little debate, including one that will require taxi companies to have one wheelchair-accessible vehicle available at all times.

Council is giving taxi companies until May 1, 2017 to meet that requirement. The bylaw allows companies to share the same accessible vehicle.

Councillor John Streicker said that, based on meetings he’s had with the city’s accessibility committee, there may be more demand for this service than the required number of vehicles could support.

“We have work to follow up with after this bylaw gets done,” he said.

Council also passed a new parks and public open space bylaw. It simplifies the rules regarding the use of snowmobiles within the city.

The bylaw cobbles and updates two older bylaws, the Protected Area and the Parks and Recreation Area bylaws.

Vehicles were still referred to as “motorized toboggans” in one of those bylaws.

The bylaw introduces tighter restrictions for vehicles in parks and other public spaces and steeper fines for violations. Riders who abandon their vehicles or fail to produce valid identification could see their vehicles impounded.

Council also raised a variety of municipal fees. One notable increase is the annual dock permit fee in Schwatka Lake, going from $75 to $300 as of May next year.

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