A confused and despairing industry takes stock of new playing field
by Mike Beggs
Rage, despair, confusion, and perhaps a wisp of hope.
Those were among the emotions emanating from the May 3 meeting of Toronto Council, where Mayor John Tory successfully strategized to realize his goal of making Uber X and other Private Transportation Companies (PTC’s) part of the city’s licensed ground transportation system. The vote went 27-15 in favour of his 20-page motion, after a divisive day-long debate. MORE
Council enacts sweeping industry changes to make room for Uber X
by John Q. Duffy
Operations of vehicles for hire, including taxicabs, limousines and app-based services like Uber, Lyft and Hailo changed in May, in some respects, dramatically.
A total of 102 amendments to the Toronto Municipal Code governing the operation of ground transportation vehicles in this city were passed by City Council at its meeting of May 3, 2015, including modifications to the staff report modified by the Licensing & Standards Committee earlier in the month. MORE
Mayor’s new bylaw opens the floodgates
By Mike Beggs
Toronto Council’s licensing of Uber X has not only legalized a lethal competitor to to its existing taxi industry. It has also opened the floodgates for deregulation, well-proven to be catastrophic in dozens of cities around the world.
And if Uber X hasn’t already devastated the livelihood of licensed operators enough – with 16,000-plus plates cutting into their business by an estimated 40 to 50 percent – now they face the prospect of unlimited Transportation Network Company (TNC) cars coming on-stream, with fellow TNC Lyft now expressing an interest in the T.O. market. MORE
Welcome to the future
The long discredited open entry model so beloved of our Mayor and far too many members of Toronto City Council is upon us. What passed at Council May 3rd was an egregious, cobbled together, last minute mishmash compromise created by a small group of politicians and bureaucrats with a half-baked vision for the future of taxi service in Toronto. Hold on to your hats, it’s going to be a brutal ride.
This month’s Cover Cab is sixteen-year veteran Zahid Shabbir Syed. Syed began driving cab in 2000 because he wanted to be his own boss. Having raised four sons who are all now on their own, he figures he only has a couple more years behind the wheel before retirement. He says Wheel-Trans work has been a boost to his bottom line since the advent of Uber X.