'Drunk customer … do not pick up': Cab passenger alarmed by dispatch message
A local cab company is under scrutiny after it appears a message was dispatched to drivers to refuse service for an intoxicated woman.
On Thursday, a woman who goes by Arden Christine on Facebook posted that she called a Yellow Cab home from the Anderson Paak concert at the PNE. When she got in, there was a message displayed on the dispatch screen that said "Code 3 drunk customer at Tap and Barrel 1 Athletes Way. She cannot even stand up. Do not pick up."
The Facebook post went on to say "This was so disturbing because it was a female at a bar left drunk and vulnerable with no way home because of a message like this across a cab company," adding that ridesharing is urgently needed in Vancouver.
"We don't have an alternative ride share program in this city so I think this is kind of a push to get Uber in the city or some other form of alternative," she told CTV News.
"Whose responsibility is it to get a drunk person home? Is it the bartender for overserving? Is it the RCMP or police? Is it an ambulance? I don't know who it really falls upon."
She suggested that clearly displaying the exact location of an intoxicated woman across the cab company was also troubling.
"If they're going to put out something like that, don't indicate their gender, don't indicate the level of intoxication," she said. "Just state Code 3, make sure all the cab drivers know about it and maybe have a different alternative to get them home safe."
According to the Taxi Bill of Rights, drivers can refuse fares if they are concerned about their own safety or if the customer is acting in a disorderly or offensive way.
Yellow Cab wasn’t able to verify if one of those situations applied in this case.
"How do you figure her safety was at (risk)? There was no name of her. There could be ten people walking there. It's a bar," said Kulwant Sahota of Yellow Cab.
The company says it will consider changing its policy on alerts, but wouldn’t commit.
"We've been putting these message out as far as I can remember, I've never had an incident where passengers got into trouble."
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure released a statement saying, "The Passenger Transportation Branch will be following up with police and the company involved to gain more details and determine next course of action."
In this case, the woman at Tap and Barrel was given a ride home by a friend who hadn't been drinking.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Allison Hurst and Regan Hasegawa