Top 10 recommendations to L&S on new report: from the Taxi Industry

Top 10 Points to Provide to L&S April 14 from the Taxi Industry

Submitted by:

  • Gail Souter, President, TTA
  • Kristine Hubbard, Operations Manager, Beck Taxi
  • Sajid Mughal, President, iTaxi Workers
  • Sam Moini, President, Association of Fleet Taxi Operators of Toronto
  • Paul Sekhon, President, United Taxi Workers Association of GTA
  • Savi Sekhon, City Taxi
  • Peter Mandronis, President, Peter’s Taxi Ltd and Avonhill Limousine
  • Behrouz Khamseh, President, Taxi Action
  • Mohammed Mirza, President, Bangladeshi Taxi Drivers’ Association

 

  1. Proven competence in the English language must remain a requirement to be the driver of any Vehicle for Hire in Toronto.

 

  1. As noted in the MLS 2014 report, several safety measures are important to the City and need to be maintained. All safety measures weakened or removed in the 2016 report should be maintained in any new by-law:
    1. Training: could be less than 17 days, but there must be some.
    2. Snow tires: must be required.
    3. Security cameras and emergency lights: must be required in 100% of vehicles for hire.
    4. Visible signage: all Vehicles for Hire must be clearly plated in a consistent way so that potential passengers and law enforcement can identify them.
    5. Vehicle inspections, twice per year, must be conducted at City inspections centre.
    6. All drivers must have background and Vulnerable Person Checks which will be conducted by Toronto Police Services and submitted directly to the City.
  1. Toronto needs a single-tier system which captures ALL Vehicles for Hire. All Toronto drivers and Vehicles for Hire must be licensed in Ontario. All drivers must submit their HST number with the City. The City should work with Brokerages to identify a sufficient number of accessible cabs.
  1. As per the 2014 report, all drivers of Vehicles for Hire must renew and pay for an annual license and annually show proof of insurance to the City: minimum $2 million COMMERCIAL insurance for vehicles and drivers.
  1. From now on, one person should only be able to own one for-hire vehicle plate, with exceptions for existing conditions. Corporations should not be allowed to purchase plates. City issued plates should be affixed to all Vehicles for Hire. The City should consider a subsidy for drivers of Accessible Vehicles for Hire; and other elements of Accessible service including age and health of drivers to ensure optimal service for passengers.
  1. As noted in the 2014 report, the City of Toronto should play an active role in determining the number of for-hire vehicles on our streets in order to prevent congestion and precarious employment. The 2014 report indicated that according to professional opinion, roughly the current number of licensed Vehicles for Hire is the right number for Toronto. Whatever the number of plates identified as acceptable is, all companies providing service must compete within that pool of plates to purchase or lease the right to do business as a licensed service provider in Toronto. There must be no vehicles providing service which are unlicensed and unregistered. To the greatest degree possible and as quickly as possible, vehicles should be hybrids.
  1. Section 4, which pertains to limousines, should be eliminated in its entirety and the status quo should be maintained.
  1. Pricing: As voted on September 30, 2015, pricing must remain metered and standardized across all elements of the new system, subject to neither discounts nor surges. This is for the safety and protection of drivers and passengers. As a pilot project, Toronto could explore identified locations for individuals who wish to share Vehicles for Hire.
  1. MLS needs to take a more active role in helping the industry address two problematic areas: lack of POS terminal, and short fare refusal. As part of the improved Vehicle for Hire system, greater promotion, enforcement and stiffer fines must be implemented. Point #88 should be deleted from the report.
  1. Creation of a Vehicles for Hire Tribunal: Toronto should create a body of independent, third-party individuals whose responsibility it will be to monitor and provide guidance on growth and change in the industry as well as pre-existing problems. The tribunal would consider and advise on issues both from the consumer side of the industry as well as the regulatory side. Appointed individuals should have transportation business, consumer, and government experience. (66% from the transportation industry; 33% citizen members with experience in the For-Hire industry, and the Chair of L&S to be an ex-officio member of this committee.

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Taxi industry signature sheet PDF