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Should Toronto taxis charge a vomit fee?

Posted by Aubrey Jax / January 16, 2014

Toronto taxisToronto taxi companies have proposed introducing a $25 fee for vomiting - or soiling - their cabs, solidifying our knowledge that some people actually allow themselves to toss their cookies in a stranger's cab. Maybe it's just because the cabs are zig-zagging too fast - or maybe it's because some of us have no shame. How hard is it to ask the driver to stop and open the door, people?

I imagine the happiness many cab drivers would feel about this surcharge coming into place, but I'd also anticipate some anxiety about actually enforcing it. Vomitty college kids trying to get away with "It was like that when I got here" or "but I'm pregnant!" (placenta - does it get a pass?) could be lead-ins for aggressive stand-offs, while silent vomiting might become a special skill of a certain Toronto party-sect. Silent Vomiting is also the name of my new club night.

Bobs Burgers TaxiThe Taxicab Industry Review - Final Report also recommends introducing "hail spots," putting electronic payment options in every cab, and for 6% of all Toronto's cabs to be wheelchair accessible by the Pan Am Games (2015). Drivers could also request a max security deposit of $25 at the start of the ride if they felt like you were "vibin' sketchy." Which you probably are.

What do you think? Should you have to pay for puking?

Lead photo by Phil Marion in the blogTO Flickr pool, second image from that Bob's Burgers ep where a guy vomits in his cab.



adfasdg / January 16, 2014 at 04:30 pm
Yes. And if the person is too drunk to pay, than the cab driver probably shouldn't have picked them up in the first place.
sarah / January 16, 2014 at 04:35 pm
I'm pretty sure it's illegal not to pick up someone if they are too drunk, is it not? It's one of the reasons cabbie's exist, to be a resource for drunks so they won't drive.
Cyril Sneer / January 16, 2014 at 05:18 pm
You know, I've been piss drunk many many times but have always managed to schedule my hurling to take place before I get in a cab.
sallyanne / January 16, 2014 at 05:41 pm
y'know, it's not only drunk people who vomit or feel sick in taxis. i've been completely sober when, due to the fact that i suffer from motion-sickness and the fact that cabbies often drive erratically (though that is not always the case), i've come very close over to vomiting in a taxi.
Jeal / January 16, 2014 at 06:01 pm
Can i charge the cabbie when i get in and it smells from thier smoke or if i have to listen to the noise polution of them talking on the phone the entire ride? I just wanted a stink free peaceful ride. You are my chaufer for the next 20 mins let me enjoy it
Jordan / January 16, 2014 at 06:22 pm
I think a $25 dollar vomit fee is reasonable. The driver has to waste his time cleaning the cab once the fare is complete. He should be compensated for this lost time where he could be out taking more fares. Other cities in Ontario already have a similar fee in affect. London for example charges a $69 fee for vomit.
How much for open heart surgery? / January 16, 2014 at 09:14 pm
No anesthetic either.
Tone / January 16, 2014 at 09:14 pm
How about they place puke bags in the cabs like they do on air planes. If the driver thinks someone is totally sauced they can hand the passenger a puke bag directly or choose not accept the fare.
Jules / January 16, 2014 at 09:17 pm
How about its not across the board and some companies don't charge the fees then they can see who gets !moire calls and more business. I think they'll change their mind pretty quickly
Daniel / January 16, 2014 at 09:22 pm
If they want to charge $25 then we need all cabs in there city to be 1-2 years old and that's it! I've got in some pretty old unkept cabs in this city and I'm not paying $25 to clean a 15 year old car that the driver isn't even up keeping. I want to sit on nice new plush fabric seats not the wear and tear all abuse cracked thick vinyl seats.I thought the vinyl seats were the puke protection....
TheBigQuestion / January 16, 2014 at 09:33 pm
How much of the $25 fee does the city get if they approve?
S / January 16, 2014 at 09:43 pm
Nope! I would be empathic if I didn't get rejected for 905 fares.
StellsBells / January 16, 2014 at 09:47 pm
Holy sense of entitlement, Sarah:

sarah / January 16, 2014 at 04:35 pm
I'm pretty sure it's illegal not to pick up someone if they are too drunk, is it not? It's one of the reasons cabbie's exist, to be a resource for drunks so they won't drive.

Cab driving isn't a social service, it's a business, cupcake, and a shitty one at that. No one owes you a ride. If you are too drunk for a cab to pick you up, maybe you need a squad car to pick you up. Because, unlike a cabby passing you by, public drunkenness IS actually a crime.

Tanya / January 16, 2014 at 10:10 pm
What's with all the puking anyway? Doesn't anyone know how to hold their liquor? Ewwwww
Brian / January 16, 2014 at 10:53 pm
Yup..because all cab drivers are "immigants", also apparently all "immigants" smell as well. Holy ignorant and racist much? Last time I checked I was reading blogTO....as in Toronto. Not blog-smalltownfullofracistshicks.

You need to lose your self entitlement real quick,or else I really do hope you get left on the side of the road while your inebriated.
AARON / January 16, 2014 at 10:57 pm
I've never puked in a cab but I have pissed in an alley or shat in public while drunk. I've never shat in front of people but I have found a private spot under a bridge or in someones backyard but I have shat and moved on...
How much to puke on this site? / January 16, 2014 at 11:22 pm
And on all you bigots...think much?
Really / January 17, 2014 at 12:08 am
1) Cabs are already ridiculously high in price.
2) If a person is drunk enough to puke in a cab, the chances they don't have the extra 25$ and good luck getting it from them.
3) Most people are using stereo types to the extreme here, but I have to agree with my experience in the city races aside.
I've experienced at least one of these on every trip.
- are on the phone the whole time
-driving erratically
-have a odour or some type
Jones / January 17, 2014 at 01:20 am
What about will the drinking and driving ads? They all reccomend taking a cab or getting a designated driver. CABS ARE mainly out there trolling for drunks I the night as well.
AH / January 17, 2014 at 10:02 am
Have YOU ever had to clean up someone's vomit? It's disgusting, no matter where!
Now think about a cab driver who has to pull over and take the time to clean up vomit before picking up another customer - they are losing time and money. If they are unlucky and have fabric seats, that smell could be lingering for a few hours.
$25 is not a lot considering you 'vandalized' their property and caused them to lose potential income.
Cab drivers are offering a valuable service (if not, they would be out of business) but just because they are in the service industry, it does not mean they don't deserve respect.
If you have a problem with the smell of the cab or the actions of the cab driver, you can always choose to call another cab.
SB / January 17, 2014 at 10:38 am
A surcharge for vomiting on the cab interior seems perfectly reasonable, but they should provide bags the way they do on the bus and on the airplane.

I look at it this way: if I threw up in my friend or acquaintances car, I would pay to have it professionally cleaned. Why is this any different?
Jeromey / January 17, 2014 at 10:44 am
I've puked in a cab once, 2pm. It was food poisoning from take out at a work lunch. I was two houses away from home and I couldn't hold it any longer and tried to open the door while he was still driving but ended up getting it down the inside of the door. The cabbie was super nice, had towels in the trunk to help me clean it and I gave him over $20 for a tip, which he didn't want to take at first.

I think a fee for spilling anything, a bottle or can of juice/water/pop, vomit, etc. would be hard to enforce, but if taxi users were nice enough to give a good tip it wouldn't have to be.

Also, to anyone that doesn't like the smell of a cab, just be polite and get the next cab. Any one that wants a cabbie to refrain from talking on his phone just politely tell them you'd like a quite ride home or that you have a headache and they will hang up. They are businessmen and are being paid by you, the customer, and as long as you're polite they will be too.
sousedbergin / January 17, 2014 at 10:49 am
As someone who has puked on a cab, puked on a street car and was sober with someone puking in a cab I feel like I have a wealth of experience on this topic.
1. The idea that someone will drive to avoid a $25 puke fee is dumb, generally they do not think they will puke, do not have have access to a car.
2. If people are actually concerned about drunk driving how about letting the subway run until 3:10am? You know, when drunk people actually get out of bars.
3. $25 is not a hefty price, cost of 3 pints and tip. Send then the bill or something. I would actually feel less guilty if I could just pay the fine. Cab driver's lives are hard enough.
Cabbies use vomit for Haggis. No fees! / January 17, 2014 at 05:58 pm
Pardon my French!
Robert / January 18, 2014 at 06:16 pm
I think a surcharge / damage deposit makes sense here. They are providing a ride, they are not your maid to clean-up after you. The other great idea I saw in the posts was putting barf-bags in the car like they do for airplanes, a brilliant idea.
Thom / January 18, 2014 at 11:35 pm
I would drive myself, if I had too drop a $25 deposit. If I had to leave my car maybe get a ticket maybe get towed. PLUS I now have to get to a bank machine to get enough cash for the deposit and the ride home. Should probably take out $60-$80, a lot easier to just drive myself home...
surly / January 20, 2014 at 02:40 pm
nope. sorry. It comes with the territory of driving a cab thant incidents such as vomit might happen. How would this be enforced? Cabbies get to decide based on "vibes"?? Screw that.
joe scratch / January 20, 2014 at 03:17 pm
I think all fares after a certain time should be preauthorized by credit or debit card. This would allow for collection of vomit tax and to reduce or eliminate robberies and skipping out on fares. This will probably not happen from pushback from the industry, especially because taking cash fares off the clock is the only real way to make money as a cab driver. I don't know why cabbies make so little money, considering cab fares are ridiculously high in Toronto. It probably because they are so in debt for all the associated fees with operating a cab.
Barney / January 20, 2014 at 03:19 pm
Some times the smell coming from the drivers on a hot summer day make me want to vomit.
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