VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Oct. 16, 2013) - The Vancouver Taxi Association (VTA) is appalled by the late night assault of a Vancouver women who mistakenly flagged down a dark minivan believing it to be a taxi. This assault was absolutely despicable and we are all hopeful that the perpetrators will be caught and held accountable. Our thoughts are with the young woman and her family and we hope she has a full recovery and is getting all the help and support she needs. As a taxi association, this incident highlights an ongoing safety issue that we have expressed concern about previously: unauthorized and unlicensed vehicles being used for commercial passenger transportation. While we have no reason to believe the assailant's vehicle was being used in this way, the use of unlicensed vehicles for commercial transportation raises a similar public threat.

We want to stress to the public the importance of ensuring you only hire taxi service through one of the four taxi companies licensed to pick-up passengers in the City of Vancouver: Yellow Cab, Black Top Cabs, MacLure's Cabs, and Vancouver Taxi. Our taxis and drivers are licensed, certified and trained to safely transport the travelling public.

We take pride in our operations and we are always looking for ways to improve. We are currently working with the Passenger Transportation Board, the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Police Department to further enhance our passengers' safety and comfort. As an association, we are also looking at ways we can further assist the VPD in cracking down on illegal or suspicious activities witnessed by our drivers.

At this time, we ask that anyone with information about this attack or who may know the identity of this suspect, call the Vancouver Police Sex Crimes Unit at 604-717-0602 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

About the Vancouver Taxi Association:

The Vancouver Taxi Association is comprised of all four taxi companies licensed to pick-up passengers in the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver International Airport - Yellow Cab Company Ltd., Black Top Cabs Ltd., MacLure's Cabs (1984) Ltd., and Vancouver Taxi Ltd. At peak demand times, the Vancouver taxi companies are presently authorized to operate a total of 687 taxis in the City of Vancouver.

Contact Information:

The Vancouver Taxi Association
Carolyn Bauer