May 11, 2016 (Toronto) – The Toronto Taxi Alliance (TTA) and taxi industry leaders announced today that its members and other industry groups reject the surge pricing option enabled in the May 3rd City Council decision.
Surge pricing, a business model which sees drivers raise fares when demand is high, has traditionally been illegal in Toronto and since the Council vote, customers and drivers have sent an avalanche of messages to the taxi companies to say that surge pricing is a terrible idea, and they want nothing to do with it.
“We believe that surge pricing has no place in superior customer service, and is not an activity engaged in by professionals – especially not professional drivers responsible for the safety of vulnerable passengers,” says Rita Smith, Executive Director of the TTA.
“We believe that a young woman heading home with $20 in her wallet should be confident that a cab ride which cost $15 on Tuesday will still cost $15 on Saturday, not $30, $45 or $90.
“A senior citizen travelling to a doctor’s appointment should feel safe knowing in advance what the charge will be whether or not it is raining, or if the TTC is down.”
Toronto taxi companies are in agreement that surge pricing in their smartphone apps is inherently unfair to customers and would end up being bad for business in the long run – “and we are here for the long run,” Smith points out. “Our members have watched as Toronto allowed an upstart foreign corporation storm the city and get the rules changed. We are more determined than ever to remain consumers’ first choice in transportation by providing the best, safest, most reliable and dependable service to the city of Toronto.”
Having reviewed the May 3rd Council motion, Beck, City, Co-op, Crown, Diamond and other major businesses have said they will not implement surge pricing in their business models. The Canadian Taxicab Association also rejects the model.
“There are elements of the motion which we support, like requiring every driver of a vehicle for hire to provide proof of insurance to the City. There are other elements which we find challenging, but we will find a way to work with the new by-laws,” Smith says.
Organizations which reject the surge pricing model enabled by the May 3rd Toronto City Council Motion:
Best Choice Taxi
Independent Cab Owners Co-operative Incorporated
Maple Leaf Taxi
Association of Fleet Taxi Operators of Toronto
Bangladeshi Taxi Drivers’ Association
Canadian Taxicab Association
Peter’s Taxi Ltd and Avonhill Limousine
United Taxi Workers Association of GTA