Jaylene Irwin decided to go home around 2AM after celebrating New Year’s Eve in Winnipeg with friends, at which time getting a cab was a bit difficult.
The 23-year-old woman eventually found a driver who agreed to take her from a downtown night club to her home in the west of the city, but then cut the trip short around 2:30AM, Irwin said.
Irwin tried to convince the taxi driver to take her home, but he insisted she should get out, leaving her standing alone in an overnight temperature of -20 degrees Celsius, with a wind chill near -30.
“We’re driving and then he says, ‘I don’t have time to take you the full way, I have to drop you off here,’” Irwin told CTV Winnipeg.
“I was just kind of shocked.”
Unable to reach her family on the phone for a ride home, Irwin started walking her way home before the driver of a truck with three passengers saw her, pulled over and offered her a ride home.
“I was kind of hesitant at first but they were younger than me and seemed pretty sincere so I didn’t feel like my safety was in danger at all,” Irwin said
“Luckily I was taken home safely after that.”
Irwin has filed complaints with the City of Winnipeg, which regulates the taxi industry, and also with Duffy’s Taxi.
Duffy’s Taxi told CTV News they received a complaint from Irwin and they are looking into the matter.
The taxi company said they take these issues seriously. In this case, the company said it hasn’t determined if a Duffy’s driver was involved.
The Winnipeg Parking Authority, the department which oversees the taxi industry, said in a statement to CTV News via email that it takes complaints seriously and looks into every complaint it receives.
Under the Vehicles for Hire bylaw, a taxi driver cannot refuse to drop off a passenger at their preferred destination unless the taxi driver believes their own personal safety is in danger.
Irwin said since the driver didn’t have time to drive her, he shouldn’t have agreed to do the trip in the first place.