THE SOCIETE DE Transport de Montreal (STM) is shortchanging taxi drivers who provide an adapted transit service to passengers with disabilities, claims transport boss Yung Cuong.
The president of the Taxi Para-Adapte (TPA) company has also accused the STM of underpaying the 1,500 cab drivers who provide 87 per cent of the city’s adapted transit journeys.
Mr Cuong said:
If we calculate it properly, we figure that we have been underpaid by about $12 million (£6.8m) per year on the island of Montreal. Our drivers are very discouraged. Because taxi drivers are only paid based on the amount charged on their meters, any time spend outside their cars is time for which they are not paid. It is a lot of time lost and we are not paid for the time-consuming physical labour that all this costs.
Mr Cuong said the provincial government paid a base fee of $25 per trip for the non-medical transportation of passengers from hospital, but wants the STM to also pay a minimum job rate of between $4 and $6 per journey.
STM spokeswoman Isabelle Tremblay said: “It is up to each of the individual taxi companies, not the STM, to work out how to adequately pay their drivers. The STM has contracts with 13 different taxi companies and we are now in the process of negotiating a new contract with them to take effect later this year.”