City identifies, interviews cab driver who refused to drive teen from airport
Published Thursday, May 2, 2019 5:02PM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 2, 2019 6:18PM MDT
Officials with the City of Calgary Livery Transport Services confirm they have identified the driver who refused a 17-year-old girl’s trip at the Calgary International Airport after deeming her destination to be not far enough to his liking.
“We have successfully identified the driver involved and we will be holding him accountable for his actions.” Abdul Rafih, chief livery inspector for the City of Calgary. “In this instance, a trip refusal could land a driver a $700 fine. It could also lead to a suspension and potential revocation of a livery licence.”
“Based on the severity of the situation and the information that we received, we could potentially use any one of those methods to get the message across that this is not ok. The City of Calgary does not condone this behaviour.”
In the early morning hours of Sunday, April 28, Ava Ludlow attempted to take a taxi from the airport after her flight home to Ontario was cancelled following a snowstorm. Ludlow says she gave up on taking a shuttle to the hotel as there was no room on several shuttles. She joined the taxi line where she waited roughly 90 minutes before she entered a cab. When the driver asked where she was going, the teenager told him the name of the hotel. Ludlow says the driver told her to get out of the cab as the hotel offered a shuttle.
Livery Transport Services worked with the Calgary International Airport’s security division, Associated Cabs, and Calgary Community Services to determine the identity of the driver. The City has not released the driver’s name.
“We’re still very early on in the investigation," said Rafih, "and, based on the circumstances, identifying whether or not this was an isolated incident and interviewing the driver and trying to identify why the driver thought it was appropriate to leave a 17-year-old girl stranded at the airport.”
“A person left on a stormy night, in an unknown city without a parent, 17 years old, should never be left alone and this should never have happened.”
Rafih says his division wants to send a strong message to all drivers. “You are in the service industry. You are providing the service to Calgarians and to visitors alike and we expect you, and you are required, to provide the service regardless of the duration and length of trip.”
Anyone who is refused service by a taxi driver is encouraged to contact 3-1-1 with the vehicle number and company name so Calgary Community Standards officers can investigate.
With files from CTV's Shaun Frenette