City loosens restrictions on vehicle requirements for taxicabs
by John Q. Duffy
Vehicle requirement rules have been loosened for taxis to bring them to the same level as those governing other vehicle for hire providers.
The Municipal Licensing and Standards Manager, Vehicle for Hire, Marcia Stoltz, confirmed that at its meeting of July 16, 17 and 18, City Council approved removing the definitions for alternative fuel vehicles, combined fuel consumption ratings, exhaust emissions, full useful life emission bin, hybrid vehicles, and low-emission vehicles.
Council also amended the section governing replacement vehicles, removing the requirement for replacement taxicab vehicles to be either accessible or alternative fuel, hybrid, or low-emission vehicles.
Remaining in the bylaw are: vehicles may be no older than 7 model years, they must have seating for up to 7 passengers, not including the driver, they may not have been a taxicab from another jurisdiction or a police car, and must have 4 doors.
Taxicab owner driver Gerry Manley, who has been lobbying for equal treatment for all Private Transportation Companies, fully supports this action. He comments “This is the fair thing to do. We all work in the same industry. If you take the time to check the federal auto manufacturing standards they have been very, very strict about emissions. Since we have no cars over 7 years of age we have addressed emissions concerns.”
He continues, “Not only does it level the playing field on at least this one issue, it actually makes sense.”
Manley said, “In the past decade plus, the federal government has initiated very strict rules on the manufacturing of new vehicles either manufactured in Canada or brought into Canada for sale, when it comes to emissions, which are increasing in severity with each and every passing year.
“With the Vehicles-for-Hire fleet not allowed to operate a vehicle over 7- model years old, any emission issue in our fleet has already been addressed by federal Canada. Couple that with the Province of Ontario no longer requiring emission checks for vehicles, it is obvious that they feel the same, since the majority of vehicles in Ontario are under 7 model years old as well.”
He concluded, “This opens up the automotive market for our members giving them a much broader choice of vehicles that can be purchased of which many are cheaper in cost than what was mandated previously in the by-law.”