MLS staff present contentious proposals for ‘levelling the playing field’
by John Q. Duffy
City staff have made more than 100 recommendations on how to ease the regulatory burden on City-licensed taxicabs and limousines, as well as to bring app-based Transportation Service Providers (TSPs) such as Uber into the regulatory fold.
In a dramatic flip to the City’s approach over the last 18 years, while agreeing the City’s preferred “owner-operator model is likely the best approach to taxicab operation”, staff recommends abandoning this goal. MORE
L&S committee guts Uber X concessions from Cook report
by Mike Beggs
Toronto’s licensed taxi operators found a ray of hope heading into the monumental showdown with Uber X at Council on May 2 and 3, coming from the City’s Licensing and Standards Committee.
On April 15 and 16, several of its members teamed together to gut the contentious Municipal Licensing and Standards Ground Transportation Report of any clauses accommodating Uber X under the bylaw, before passing it on to Council by a 5-1 vote. (The decision at L&S was followed up four days later by a similar unanimous decision at Mississauga’s Public Vehicle Advisory Committee, to recommend banning Uber X). MORE
Fate of the industry in hands of Toronto Council…
by Mike Beggs
With the safety of the riding public and their own livelihoods at stake, Toronto taxi industry leaders are urging Mayor John Tory and City councillors to support the recommendation from their Licensing and Standards Committee, and “do the right thing” on May 2 and 3, when they vote on the handling of the controversial Uber X service. MORE
Stand up for regulation
At its meeting May 3-4, City council will debate and decide on its latest radical revision to the laws governing for-hire-vehicle services in Toronto. The choice before councillors is simple and stark. Will they insist on the rule of law and apply it to all for-hire-vehicle services equally and fairly, or will they pander to the lowest possible denominator: Uber X?
This month’s Cover Cab is Ali Abdullahi, a veteran of more than 20 years in Toronto’s taxi industry. Abdullahi estimates he has lost 65 percent of his credit card business to Uber X, especially on the weekends. He also resents Uber’s claims of bargain pricing, noting taxi and Uber rates are often comparable. And during surge pricing cycles, Uber’s prices can go through the roof.