VICTORIA, BC — Parking is in high demand in downtown Victoria. When waiting for fares, taxis frequently use on-street parking spaces which reduces the availability of on-street parking. Based on best practices of other cities, the City has introduced a one-year pilot to enable taxi drivers to wait for fares at six identified taxi hydrant zones as long as they remain in their vehicle and relocate immediately upon the approach or arrival of an emergency vehicle.
Each of the six zones has space for one taxi only. There is no time limit on how long a taxi can wait at a taxi hydrant zone. Although they are primarily to be used for a taxi to wait for the next fare, the public can also hail a cab from these six locations. The new Taxi Hydrant Zones are marked with signage and are located at: 1200 Government Street; 1632 Store Street; 761 Fort Street; 827 Fort Street; 634 Humboldt Street and 728 Humboldt Street.
The new zones are designed to increase the number of available areas where taxis can wait, freeing up valuable on-street parking spaces for downtown visitors to access local businesses; provide an efficient use of downtown space; increase the capacity of existing taxi zones; and help reduce taxi idling and emissions downtown.
The six fire hydrant locations were selected based on safety considerations such as having a secondary fire hydrant nearby and maintaining pedestrian and vehicle sightlines. Stopping at any other fire hydrant will continue to be prohibited. The new zones will be monitored for compliance by the City’s Parking Ambassadors and the Victoria Fire Department. The fine for illegally parking at a taxi hydrant zone is $60.
Taxis provide an essential transportation service to the community by reducing the overall number of private vehicles on the roads and providing transportation to visitors to Victoria and to those with mobility issues.
If the one-year pilot is considered a success, some additional fire hydrants may be considered for taxi hydrant zones downtown in 2018.