February 26, 2016 (TORONTO) – The Toronto Taxi Alliance (TTA) says their members will be more than capable of competing with Uber so long as regulations for taxi and Uber are identical.
“Several TTA members attended ‘stakeholder’ meetings held in February by MLS, ostensibly to provide input to the ground transportation report as it is being written,” says TTA spokesperson Asafo Addai, who will visit Toronto City Hall today to deliver the TTA’s submission before the February 29th deadline. The report is expected on April 14th.
“These meetings were designed to spend many hours in discussion over such topics as ‘Should the City set meter rates?’ and ‘Should we have roof lights and security camera?’” says Addai.
“Until we know that taxis and Uber vehicles will be treated identically the same, there is no point in musing these details. We have no frame of reference for discussing any of these items, whether they are related to safety – like vehicle inspections and driver training – or whether they are related to commerce, like meter rates and license fees.
“Should taxis have snow tires and security cameras, with meter rates set by the City? If Uber’s going to have exactly the same requirements, sure. If Uber gets a pass on all of these things, it’s a totally different story. These stakeholder meetings put the cart before the horse by focusing on details without disclosing whether we’re talking about one system, or two.”
TTA members could not:
- get a guarantee there would be no new and separate transportation category recommended in the report;
- get any assurance that Uber and Taxi would be treated identically the same;
- persuade staff to share their definition of the term ‘equitable’ treatment as used in the direction from Council on September 30.
Therefore, the Toronto Taxi Alliance’s submission to the ground transportation review can be covered by these three points:
Uber, UberX and all of Uber’s entities must be regulated as taxi companies.
- Regulations for Uber, UberX and Taxi services must be identical
There cannot be two sets of regulations in Toronto, one which applies to Uber and other so-called “ride sharing” companies and different set of regulations which apply to taxi companies.
There needs to be ONE set of regulations which applies to ground transportation companies carrying passengers for compensation. These entities must be governed identically by these regulations.
- No open entry
Open entry means anyone with a car can provide ground transportation services, with no requirement for a license to operate and no cap on the number of vehicles providing transportation service.
Open entry has never been right for the City of Toronto and it will not work now.
In 2014, MLS indicated Toronto has the correct number of licensed vehicles on the road. With Uber, Toronto has 20,000 more. This is not working for Toronto.