City of Calgary determined to identify cab driver who refused teen at airport
Published Tuesday, April 30, 2019 4:49PM MDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 30, 2019 6:51PM MDT
The City of Calgary Livery Transport Services has launched an investigation into the unknown taxi driver who refused to drive a teenage girl from the Calgary International Airport to an airport-area hotel early Sunday morning.
Ava Ludlow, 17, was travelling alone when her flight home to Ontario was cancelled late Saturday night after a blast of wintry weather hit Calgary. A hotel room was booked for the teen at a nearby hotel but she encountered full shuttle buses to the hotel and, after waiting a significant period of time, she elected to join the taxi line.
Ludlow said she waited nearly 90 minutes in the taxi line in freezing condition before she entered an Associated Cab. The driver asked the teen for her destination and allegedly told her to get out of the vehicle as he considered the trip to be not worth his time. The stunned teen did not get the driver’s name or the taxi number as she exited.
Ludlow returned to the shuttle line and a Good Samaritan arranged to share her seat with the girl to ensure she made it to her hotel.
Abdul Rafih, Chief Livery Inspector for the City of Calgary, was appalled by the actions of the cab driver.
“This should never happen,” said Rafih. “The Livery Transport bylaw is very clear in that no passenger should be stranded. Better yet, all trips must be accepted regardless of duration or length of trip. Leaving a minor stranded at three in the morning is completely unacceptable.”
Rafih says his department has been in contact with Ludlow and her mother. “Thanks to CTV, we have been able to speak with the young lady involved and her mother. We have a wealth of knowledge and information now to proceed through the investigation process.”
The City is working alongside the Calgary International Airport’s ground transportation and security divisions and is reviewing CCTV footage to identify timelines in an effort to identify the driver who refused the teen’s trip.
According to Rafih, a driver who fails to abide by the bylaw could potentially have their licence suspended, their operating privileges temporarily revoked, or be banned from ever working within the livery industry in Calgary again.
“We have the mandate to uphold public safety, consumer protection, and service quality for the travelling public. It is a privilege to operate a vehicle for hire in the City of Calgary,” explained Rafih. “In this instance here, it’s still too early to determine what the course of action will be however I’m confident that we will have more information in the coming days and we do hope to hold this individual accountable because this never should have happened.”
Rafih encourages any Calgarian or visitor who is refused by a taxi driver because of their requested destination to contact 3-1-1 immediately and a peace officer will investigate the concern.
With files from CTV’s Shaun Frenette