Driver Dave’s licence pending
No decision in today's hearing
January 22, 2013, 8:29 PM AST
Last updated January 23, 2013, 10:39 AM AST
This story has been updated since initially published.
David Wolpin of Driver Dave’s Inc. argued his application for a motor carrier licence in front of the province’s licensing board today.
Wolpin offers a shuttle service, primarily for Halifax university students, between the university neighbourhoods and the Halifax Stanfield International Airport.
Since starting the business in 2010, he has been operating with a commercial vehicle licence. But in order to legally shuttle customers within the Halifax Regional Municipality, he needs a motor carrier licence.
Wolpin began transporting friends to and from the airport in 2009, and so the board argued he has been illegally operating as a taxi since that date because he has lacked the appropriate licence and regulations.
Wolpin said he realized he was operating in violation of the Motor Carrier Act in early 2012.
To operate with a motor carrier licence, Wolpin’s business would need a vehicle with the ability to carry 10 or more passengers. He says he’s not concerned about his business handling a larger vehicle, but says a smaller car is more economical and fuel-efficient.
Wolpin currently operates his business with a Volkswagen Jetta and a GMC Yukon SUV. He will not be able to use these vehicles for service within the municipality if he receives the motor carrier licence.
“I mean, it’s really simple. All I ever wanted to do was drive students to the airport,” Wolpin testified. “I just wanted to do what students were asking me to do.”
Wolpin argued that when applying for his commercial vehicle licence when he began the business in 2010, it was not explained to him that he could not provide a shuttle service to and from the airport.
Wolpin was joined in the hearing by several of his drivers, while several taxi owner operators also testified, objecting Wolpin’s potential licence.
The taxi owner operators in attendance were concerned about the safety and reliability of Wolpin’s service, as he doesn’t follow Nova Scotia regulations or have the proper licence for his services. One taxi owner said he wants the industry to be stable, and with small businesses charging low prices to compete with other companies, it makes the market harder on everyone.
Wolpin was not available to comment after the hearing.
Wolpin was told Chief operating board member Dawna Ring will make her decision on his licence in four to eight weeks.
See Driver Dave’s Inc. company and licence history, here:
Update: Jan. 23: An earlier version of this story stated Ring would make her decision in a few weeks. It has been updated to reflect the timeframe Wolpin was given.