Coop
Taxilogoweb2014

January 2019

Municipal regulators have ‘failed us completely’

To the editor,

(Editor’s note: This letter comes from an Oakville taxi operator addressing recent efforts there to accommodate transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft.)

Specifying no vehicle supply cap is our biggest threat to business. The taxi industry is facing the dread of financial ruin and the possibility of the whole taxi system seizing up. The consequences of not limiting ride-sharing vehicles are already being felt.

An estimated fifty percent of our business is lost. Currently 11 taxi plates have been handed back to the town and are sitting on the shelf. That leaves 124 operating taxis between the three Oakville taxi brokerages: United Taxi, Halton Taxi and Oakville A Taxi.

Market plate values have dropped alarmingly, values that represent our “retirement fund”. Values have plummeted from $285,000 decades ago to a pitiable $20,000 currently. Any sufficient retirement hopes are fading fast.

The widespread popularity of UberX and Lyft has spurred rapid growth in the number of TNCs but that high-tech convenience has come at a cost with the taxi driver revenues down by more than half, plate and lease rates reduced to nominal amounts, heightened concerns about the safety of the riding public, and studies finding that ridesharing has actually increased downtown gridlock and pollution, with an unlimited number of TNCs on the road.

Cities in Canada and around the word are taking action to alleviate the damage ill-considered ride-sharing policies created. Like Kingston, Ontario, and New York City moving to limit the numbers of app-based vehicles in service, and the Province of Quebec and some places in Australia financially compensating taxicab operators for loss of business. Take note of recent European and American court and labor tribunal decisions stating app-based dispatching is a taxi service by another name and these services (and drivers) can be regulated the same as are taxis.

New York City moved to regulate the explosive growth of Uber and other app-based ride services with a temporary cap on new licenses for ride-hailing services. Kingston’s taxi commission passed a bylaw to limit Uber and Lyft. On June 27 it will require companies like Uber and Lyft to be regulated by the commission, much like traditional taxis.

The law requires the municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area to “support” their taxi industries. So far they have failed us completely.

Jan Lis
Oakville Taxi Industry

Toronto taxis should lower meter rates 10 percent

To the editor,

The Toronto taxi industry should lower the current meter rate at least 10 percent. Christmas for investors or multi-plate operators is over. Let’s start by lowering the meter rates 10 percent to survive the near term and start to organize ourselves for the struggle ahead with Uber and the private transportation companies and their political backers.

Kuldip Singh

Notice to iTaxi members

To the editor,

This is to inform all the iTaxiworkers Association members that the Board has decided, January 15, 2019, will be the last month to withdraw the membership fee. Likewise, any NOTICE OF TRIAL falling before January 15, 2019, will be looked after by the paralegal.

Sajid Mughal,
President iTaxiworkers Association

Recklessness of industry’s regulators defies explanation

To the editor,

I am at a loss to explain why local councillors, in the face of overwhelming evidence clearly demonstrating Uber’s business model contravenes the Excise Tax Act, not to mention best practices for both their customers and drivers - a model constructed on a veritable house of cards - continue to grant the company special treatment.

Surely the number of customer abuses recorded to date totally justifies the necessity for government screening and training for all Uber

drivers.

Surely, the fact that upwards of 72,000 Uber drivers, (and growing), are plying the streets of Toronto totally justifies imposing a limit on the number of Uber vehicles that can operate.

Why are local politicians, not to mention legal staff, acting so recklessly on this file? Arrogance? Greed? Disinterest? All of the aforementioned?

At some point, such recklessness has to backfire.

Peter D. Pellier

New legislation gives police too much power

To the editor,

Effective today, a police officer no longer requires reasonable and probable grounds to demand you to provide a sample of your breath to be blown into a breathalyzer machine.

Any time they stop a vehicle, which can be done under a number of provincial and federal statutes, for no reason whatsoever, they can demand you supply a sample of your breath.

Personally, I believe this gives way too much authority to all police services and has crossed the line of protecting the public, to becoming a police state.

Unlike most countries, Canada has a Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which I feel these new police powers violate and if this is not challenged in court, what will government allow police officers to do next?

Gerald H. Manley

Municipal regulators have ‘failed us completely’

Toronto taxis should lower meter rates 10 percent

Notice to iTaxi members

Recklessness of industry’s regulators defies explanation

New legislation gives police too much power

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