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Taxi drivers caught parking en masse in Toronto bike lanes

Dozens of taxis have been spotted parked along protected bike lanes in three separate incidents in 24 hours

Dozens of taxis have been photographed illegally using bike lanes as taxi ranks in Toronto over one 24 hour period this weekend, causing bemusement among cyclists and, apparently, the companies they work for.

Passing cyclists photographed groups of matching taxis on three separate occasions, from a different company each time, parked in rows along bike lanes across the city. Each was clearly marked with painted lines, kerbs, and in one case, plastic wands. 

Beck Taxis, of Toronto, is among the three operators to express bemusement as to why its drivers decided simultaneously to turn protected bike infrastructure into taxi ranks, and has promised to look into it.

After the Beck incident, however, other taxi companies' drivers followed suit.

Around 90 minutes after a local journalist reported the phenomenon to one taxi firm, he said the queue of vehicles continued to grow.

Beck Taxis says it is "very concerned" and is investigating the matter.

Otherwise the phenomenon remains a mystery.

Local news reporters cite a “war” between cyclists and drivers, as motor vehicles are regularly left parked in bike lanes, and while a perceived lack of bike lane enforcement has become a source of frustration for local cyclists, that could be about to change.

From spring, enforcement officers could ticket vehicles illegally parked by photographing them. At the moment the $150 fines for parking in a bike lane don’t appear to be acting as a deterrent, with drivers apparently able to drive away to avoid paying up.



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