As ‘terrible, terrible year’ draws to a close, a desperate industry looks for answers
by Mike Beggs
2016 is likely to be remembered as another year from hell for Toronto taxi operators – a sentiment certainly shared by cab drivers across the GTA and beyond.
That brutal assessment comes thanks to the wave of lawmakers who have gone out of their way to accommodate the much-maligned but apparently unstoppable Uber X service under its own separate licensing category (Transportation Network Companies) – granting them unlimited entry of vehicles, along with significantly relaxed regulations for driver training and screening, vehicle standards, insurance, etc. MORE
Shutting down City-run vehicle inspections sure to prove a big mistake, warn critics
by Mike Beggs
Of all the questionable regulatory changes by the City of Toronto in its unswerving determination to license Uber X, the sudden closure of the long-running Vehicle Inspection Centre at 843 Eastern Avenue ranks among the most objectionable of all, according to licensed taxi operators.
According to an Important Notice To All Taxicab Owners released by Toronto Municipal Licensing and Standards on December 9, “As of December 31, 2016, you are no longer required to submit your vehicle for inspection by staff at 843 Eastern Avenue, however a mechanical Safety Standards Certificate (SSC) must be submitted to the Licensing Services office at the East York Civic Centre.” MORE
Oakville bows to Uber wave of municipal compliance
by Mike Beggs
Following the lead of Toronto and several other Canadian municipalities, the Town of Oakville has decided to welcome Uber X into its taxi bylaw.
Despite the vehement protestations of licensed operators, a draft bylaw laying out a separate licensing category for Transportation Network Companies (TNC’s) like Uber X, passed unanimously through Oakville’s Administrative Services Committee (ASC) on December 5, and Oakville Council one week later. MORE
Who cares about safety?
As of December 31, 2016, the City of Toronto has served notice it will no longer be responsible for conducting the semi-annual mechanical fitness testing of taxicabs that has long been a respected feature of the City’s once stringent regulatory regime. Sadly, this is just the latest initiative in the City’s hell-bent and ill-advised race to deregulate the vehicle for hire industry.
This month’s Cover Cab is longstanding veteran Ezekiel Falolu Tokunboh. When Tokunboh started driving in 1977, he remembers the drop on the meter was 60 cents. He’s very disappointed how the City has been regulating his industry, starting in 1998 when the City launched its two tier taxi system that denied plate ownership for Ambassadors. And then came Uber X…