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Quebec taxi industry loses injunction battle against Uber

The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, September 20, 2016 4:16PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 20, 2016 5:31PM EDT

A lawyer representing the taxi industry Marc-Antoine Cloutier responds to questions flanked by spokesman Guy Chevrette, left, and union representative Benoit Jugand, right, at the Montreal courthouse Tuesday, September 20, 2016. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
A lawyer representing the taxi industry Marc-Antoine Cloutier responds to questions flanked by spokesman Guy Chevrette, left, and union representative Benoit Jugand, right, at the Montreal courthouse Tuesday, September 20, 2016. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

MONTREAL -- The taxi industry's attempt to stymie Uber's entry into Quebec suffered a blow Tuesday after a judge rejected the cabbies' request for a temporary injunction against the ride-hailing company.

Taxi drivers wanted the injunction to prevent Uber and the government from implementing an agreement for a one-year pilot project that would allow the firm to operate legally in the province.

Lawyers for the taxi industry argued that Transport Minister Laurent Lessard exceeded his powers in his negotiations with Uber on the project, which would see the company operate without being subject to the same licence system that exists for cabbies.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Michel Deziel said Tuesday there wasn't enough evidence to justify immediate action against Uber or the pilot project, which is expected to take effect shortly.

Additionally, he noted that jurisprudence states "a ministerial decision is presumed to be in the interest of the public."

He said he would prefer to listen to arguments from Uber and the taxi industry before ruling on the legality of the pilot project.

Both sides return to court in January.

But the taxi industry's lawyer, Marc-Antoine Cloutier, said he will argue again Thursday for an injunction.

He said the deal is not yet in force and Uber's current operations in Quebec are therefore illegal.

"Uber recognizes that since Sept. 8 it has been acting like a taxi service," Cloutier said. "They don't have any permits and everyone knows it. There is no pilot project. Someone needs to explain why this company continues to drive people around when they don't have the right to do so."

Under the agreement, Uber will be granted the equivalent of 300 taxi permits, but will also pay taxes in addition to collecting federal and provincial sales tax and contribute to a fund to help modernize the taxi industry.

Uber drivers must abide by several other regulations but won't have to rent or purchase traditional permits, which cost cab drivers upward of $200,000 if a car is included in the price.

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Taxi industry’s injunction against Uber pilot project denied

It may have lost the latest battle against Uber, but the province’s taxi industry said it intends to win the war.

On Tuesday, Quebec Superior Court Judge Michel Déziel ruled against a provisional injunction the industry filed last week — an emergency measure to stop a government pilot project that would allow Uber to operate legally in the province.

The judge ruled there was no urgency in this case because the pilot project has not yet begun, despite the fact the government reached a deal with the ride-sharing company on Sept. 7. The taxi industry’s request was premature because the pilot project can only begin 15 days after the minister publishes a decree outlining the project’s conditions, which had not happened as of Tuesday.

However, taxi industry representatives took the judgment as a partial victory, because it means that if there is no pilot project in place, Uber is still operating illegally. On Tuesday, the industry planned to file another emergency request — a provisional injunction asking a judge to order Uber to suspend its activities. That motion will likely be heard Thursday in court.

“We have a victory, because we know that there is no pilot project, which means Uber is acting illegally, so it must be stopped,” said Guy Chevrette, a spokesperson for the owners of taxi companies.

Marc-Antoine Cloutier, centre, a lawyer representing the Quebec taxi industry, is flanked by industry spokespersons Guy Chevrette, left, and Benoit Jugand following Tuesday’s hearing. DARIO AYALA / MONTREAL GAZETTE
Marc-Antoine Cloutier, centre, a lawyer representing the Quebec taxi industry, is flanked by industry spokespersons Guy Chevrette, left, and Benoit Jugand following Tuesday’s hearing. DARIO AYALA / MONTREAL GAZETTE

Chevrette and Benoit Jugand, a spokesperson for the union representing drivers, called for calm among taxi drivers, saying they are confident the courts will rule their way.

When asked if there were any pressure tactics planned, however, Jugand smiled and said: “We’ll keep that to ourselves for now.”

Taxi drivers have engaged in several noisy demonstrations, honking their horns and blocking major streets around the city in protest of Uber.

Déziel ordered the parties to return to court in January for a hearing on a permanent injunction against the government’s pilot project. The taxi industry took this as recognition that their matter was important, and worthy of being heard quickly.

Taxi drivers and owners argued in court that Transport Minister Laurent Lessard overstepped his authority by negotiating the agreement with Uber, since the new law governing the industry states the minister can only initiate a pilot project with a certified taxi company.

Jugand called on Lessard to put a stop to Uber.

“You know, they were sitting next to Uber, fighting against the industry; now we’re asking for them to fight with us to stop Uber from operating illegally,” Jugand said.

Lawyers for both Uber and the province argued the minister is within his rights to adopt a pilot project for the sake of innovation. They also stated the project is a temporary measure, to last just one year.

In a statement issued by email, Uber Quebec said it was pleased with the ruling.

“Today’s ruling is a confirmation that we can continue serving Quebecers under our agreement with the government,” said Jean-Nicolas Guillemette, Uber Quebec’s general manager. “Our focus remains offering a quality transportation alternative under the terms established by the pilot project and imposed by the government.”

A spokesperson for the government declined to comment on Tuesday.

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Chicago taxi group asks appellate court to even playing field with Uber

CHICAGO — An attorney for Chicago’s taxi industry on Monday argued to a federal appeals court panel that the city of Chicago has unconstitutionally enforced two sets of rules for the taxi and ridesharing industries, making it impossible for cabbies to compete with Uber and Lyft drivers.

The argument in front of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals marked the latest effort by the city’s taxi industry to stem the financial tumult caused by the emergence of rideshare companies that some in the Windy City says is inching the legacy cab industry to the precipice of collapse.

Meanwhile, an attorney for three Chicago-area ridesharing drivers urged the appellate court to affirm an Illinois federal judge’s April decision to reject a preliminary injunction requested by city’s taxi industry that would have forced Uber and Lyft drivers to face the same regulations as taxi drivers—including the requirement they be fingerprinted, obtain a chauffeur's license, and undergo the same vehicular safety inspections as taxi drivers.

Michael Shakman, an attorney representing Chicago’s taxi and livery industry, told the appellate court that taxi industry revenue is down 45% to 50% as more than 90,000 drivers in the Chicago-area have registered with Uber and Lyft. There are about 6,800 active taxis in the city.

The long-winding Chicago case started in early 2014, when the coalition of taxi owners sued the city of Chicago, arguing the Windy City had set a double-standard by not enforcing the same regulations against drivers for ridesharing services that are in place for taxi drivers.

Chicago’s city council in June passed an ordinance that would require ridesharing drivers to get a special license, one that is easier to obtain than the chauffeur's license required for taxi and livery drivers.

The ordinance, which was pushed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, was far weaker than what some members of Chicago’s city council were advocating for, including requiring rideshare drivers to acquire a chauffeur's license and be fingerprinted.

Instead, the recently passed ordinance requires rideshare drivers in Chicago to complete online training. The city also decided to further study the possibility of fingerprinting for rideshare drivers in the future.

In contrast, Chicago taxi drivers are required to take a class in-person that costs more than $300 and also be fingerprinted to obtain a chauffer’s license.

The weaker ordinance came as Uber and Lyft threatened to leave Chicago if more onerous regulations were passed in the city. The companies did just that in Austin after voters there rejected a proposal by the companies to self-regulate their drivers and mandated that drivers undergo fingerprint background checks and have emblems on their cars.

“What’s the rationale for having fingerprinting for one and not the other?” said Shakman, who represent the Illinois Transportation Trade Association, which includes dozens of licensed cab companies.  “What’s the rationale for requiring a chauffeur’s license for one and not the other?”

The taxi industry also complains that the lack of regulation of ridesharing by Chicago and other cities has lead to owners of medallions—the city issued permit that owners of taxis must obtain to operate—seeing the value of their property diminish.

In 2013, the price of taxi medallions in Chicago peaked at $357,000. In April, a medallion was transferred between owners for $60,000. Taxi medallion owners in other cities have also seen the value of medallions plummet.

“It’s fundamentally unfair to the people who have played by the city’s rules since 1937,” said Shakman, referring to the inception of Chicago’s medallion system.

Judge Richard Posner, a member of the three member appeals panel, countered that it was absurd to assert that there aren’t fundamental differences between rideshare services and the taxi industry, which justifies different types of regulations.

At one point, Posner suggested that what is happening to the taxi industry was similar to what happened when to the “horse-and-buggy.”

“This is what competition does,” Posner said. “It wipes out industry.”

In a related case, the 7th Circuit also on Monday heard an appeal from the Joe Sanfelippo Cabs Inc., which had unsuccessfully sued the city of Milwaukee over its decision in 2014 to lift the cap it had placed on the number taxis that it would permit to operate in the city.

Sanfelippo and other legacy cab companies filed suit against Milwaukee that ending the cap devalued the taxi permit holders’ property without compensation. Milwaukee taxi permit holders had been able to sell the permits for up to $100,000 on the secondary market prior to the cap being lifted.

Anthony Sanders, a Libertarian public-interest attorney involved in the Milwaukee and Chicago lawsuits, said the two cases will play a critical role in determining how cities will approach regulation of the taxi and rideshare industries in the future.

“Deregulation is not a taking (of property),” said Sanders, with the Arlington, Va.,Institute for Justice. “There are serious questions about shackling taxi cabs to regulation, but the solution is not to shackle them on drivers like my clients. The solution deregulation of the taxi cabs.”

The appellate judges did not say when they would return with their decisions on the two cases.

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Calgary taxi company wants Uber ban and compensation for legal costs

Associated Cab owner is demanding the city reimburse cab drivers' legal fees and ban Uber from operating in Calgary because of their past transgressions

By: Metro Published on

Uber’s looming return has stirred up bad feelings from one of Calgary’s largest taxi companies.

Although he’s welcomed competition in he past, Roger Richard, the president of Associated Cab is asking the City of Calgary to make a point of denying Uber’s drivers entry into the city citing past bad behaviour.

“We feel council should have an obligation not to allow anyone to operate in our city if they have already demonstrated a lack of respect and total disregard for our laws and operated illegally,” read a release issued by Richard late on Tuesday. His statement goes on to demand drivers be reimbursed for business loss.

“We request council demand reimbursement for all legal costs and loss of income that taxi and limo drivers incurred while Uber intentionally disobeyed our bylaws and operated illegally in Calgary,” it read.

The City of Calgary has been in talks with the Transportation Network Company giant for months to come to common ground on regulatory sticking points Uber previously said made operation in the city “unworkable”.

And Coun. Evan Woolley says he can’t begin to comment on whether getting legal costs and losses is appropriate, or even possible.

“I have no idea how that would even occur,” said Woolley. “Technological disruptions and new technology are always challenging. This is a transportation revolution that’s happening across the globe.”

Online, eager drivers have been rumouring the return for months – each small step taken by Uber setting off questions from those chomping at the bit. The latest instalment is an email that was sent out by Uber inviting potential operators to an information session in Calgary.

Uber is in talks with the city to leverage changes that would allow them to profitably operate. But it's unclear when those discussions will come to a head.

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Quebec taxi drivers take battle over Uber to court

CBC September 15, 2016

Members of a group that represents taxi drivers hold up copies of the injunction, filed on Thursday. (CBC)
Members of a group that represents taxi drivers hold up copies of the injunction, filed on Thursday. (CBC)

A group that represents many of the province's taxi drivers has filed an injunction against the government over its plan to allow Uber to operate in Quebec.

The group is asking the Quebec Superior Court to cancel the agreement, arguing Lessard has gone beyond the powers given to him in the National Assembly.

The injunction was filed on Thursday afternoon in Montreal. Dozens of taxi drivers were on hand, eventually driving away from the courthouse in a noisy procession.

"We're not going to let go until we win that fight," said the lawyer representing the group, Marc-Antoine Cloutier.

The injunction comes days after industry representatives met with Transport Minister Laurent Lessard, demanding he suspend the Uber deal. Lessard turned them down.

"Today, the taxi industry is united to defend and call for the respect of Quebec laws," wrote spokesmen Georges Tannous and Benoît Jugand in a statement.

The government and Uber reached an agreement last week for a pilot project that would allow the company to operate in this province for another year.

While the deal outlined a number of new rules for Uber and its drivers, including requiring the company to pay a per-ride fee to the government and making the drivers to obtain a Class 4C driver's licence, it did not include a requirement for drivers to hold a taxi permit.

Those permits, which taxi drivers need to work in Quebec and which were originally given out by the government for free, are now bought and sold for thousands of dollars.

In the aftermath of the deal, groups representing Quebec cab drivers said they felt betrayed and called for Uber to be outlawed.

A group which represents many Quebec taxi drivers has filed an injunction over the provincial government's plan to allow Uber to operate in Quebec. (Radio-Canada)
A group which represents many Quebec taxi drivers has filed an injunction over the provincial government's plan to allow Uber to operate in Quebec. (Radio-Canada)

Taxi industry vs. City of Ottawa by cat_tunney

Mayor Denis Coderre wants special fund to buy back taxi driver permits

Mayor Denis Coderre says he wants the Quebec government to create a special fund to buy back taxi permits from traditional cab drivers who say they can't compete with Uber. NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP/GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO
Mayor Denis Coderre says he wants the Quebec government to create a special fund to buy back taxi permits from traditional cab drivers who say they can't compete with Uber. NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP/GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO

Mayor Denis Coderre says he wants the Quebec government to create a special fund to buy back taxi permits from traditional cab drivers who say they can’t compete with Uber.

“We need to create a fund dedicated to buying back permits and find a solution for those who are going to experience big losses with their permits, which are worth around $170,000,” Coderre said on Wednesday during the weekly city executive committee meeting.

The mayor said he proposed the idea of buying back permits in a meeting with Transport Minister Laurent Lessard a day earlier.

The money, Coderre said, could come from fees that will be collected from Uber under a one-year deal that the U.S.-based ride-sharing company struck with the government of Premier Philippe Couillard in early September.

The deal, which is to come into effect at the end of the month, will see Uber acquire the equivalent of 300 taxi permits, giving the company 50,000 operating hours a week.

In addition to collecting and paying taxes, Uber will have to pay a 90-cent fee per ride to the government if its drivers collectively work 50,000 hours a week or less; $1.10 per ride between 50,000 and 100,000 hours, and $1.26 for more than 100,000 hours.

Uber will also pay a $0.07 fee per ride, which, the agreement says, is a way to respect the fact that traditional taxi drivers have high insurance costs.

The fees collected are supposed to go into a fund to help modernize the traditional taxi industry.

However, Coderre said part of the money should be used to buy back expensive permits from taxi drivers who want to get out of the industry. The province has already bought back taxi licences in the past, he added. In the 1980s, about one-third of the permits in Montreal region were purchased back because there was too much supply.

Coderre has sided with the taxi industry since it began its fight against what it calls unfair and illegal competition from Uber. The car-sharing service allows anyone to use their personal cars to make money as chauffeurs.

“I’ve always looked for equity, that there not be two definitions of legal transportation,” Coderre said.

“I’m looking for equity and fair competition.”

lgyulai@postmedia.com

twitter.com/CityHallReport

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City files defence in taxi suit, claims it has no role in plate value

The City of Ottawa has filed a statement of defence in the $215-million lawsuit from Metro Taxi co-owner Marc Andre Way and other members of the taxi industry. TONY CALDWELL / TONY CALDWELL/POSTMEDIA NETWORK
The City of Ottawa has filed a statement of defence in the $215-million lawsuit from Metro Taxi co-owner Marc Andre Way and other members of the taxi industry. TONY CALDWELL / TONY CALDWELL/POSTMEDIA NETWORK

The City of Ottawa has fired back at a taxi bigwig whose mega lawsuit claims municipal taxpayers owe cabbies millions because council is creating a dual licensing regime.

In a statement of defence filed in court Tuesday, the city dismisses Marc Andre Way’s allegations and accuses the taxi industry of dragging its heels in competing with Uber.

Way and the members of a proposed class action suit “lobbied the city to eliminate their perceived competition rather than compete with Uber in the marketplace for customer preference,” the city’s statement says.

Way, the co-owner of Metro Taxi and the city’s largest single plateholder, and about 755 people in the taxi industry are suing the city for $215 million. They accuse the city of failing to enforce its taxi bylaw and creating a licensing system that drove up the market value of taxi plates. Metro Taxi operates business as Capital Taxi.

None of the allegations in either the lawsuit or the city’s statement of defence has been tested in court.

In its court filing, the city says it has discretion in enforcing the taxi bylaw and has acted in good faith in those enforcement activities. The city says it has racked up more than 100 convictions on drivers who were operating outside of the bylaw but decided against going after Uber in court because it wouldn’t be a good use of public money.

The city explains how the “supply management” regime works in the local taxi industry; that is, the city controls the number of taxi plates and there are barriers to entry when it comes to public safety, consumer protection and accessibility requirements. There are further rules created by the taxi industry itself through union contracts, brokering agreements and lease arrangements.

People who have taxi licences and plates “exploited the relative scarcity” of the municipal permits and created an “artificial secondary market,” the city claims, arguing it had no involvement in creating that market.

According to the city’s court filing, cabbies have sold plates for amounts ranging from $1 to $320,000 since 2012. The city records the values through paperwork required in the plate transfers.

The city’s statement says the transfer prices reported to the city since the arrival of Uber in late 2014 have been consistent with the prices from the time before Uber was operating here.

No one with a city-issued plate actually owns the plate or taxi plate licence and everyone with a plate knows this, the city’s statement says.

Traditional cabbies were “incapable of matching the transportation service experience provided to the users of the Uber apps” and they were “unwilling to innovate,” the statement says.

The city points out Metro has made annual renewals and paid the required municipal fees since 1992 without a peep about whether the costs were appropriate.

The city defends its decision to change the licensing system, explaining how it went through a consultation process before council approved new regulations last April, which come into effect Sept. 30.

Taxi licence holders still have a monopoly on taxi permits, the city says. However, a new licensing category for “private transportation companies,” such as Uber, has separate rules.

The city rejects Way’s accusation that it owes him and other members of the proposed class action a “duty of care.”

The city, which has hired an external lawyer to fight the lawsuit, is seeking costs related to the claim.

jwilling@postmedia.com

twitter.com/JonathanWilling

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Taxi drivers join forces against Uber

Disgruntled taxi drivers show their frustration towards their union, the government and Uber on Sept. 11, 2016. PIERRE OBENDRAUF / MONTREAL GAZETTE
Disgruntled taxi drivers show their frustration towards their union, the government and Uber on Sept. 11, 2016. PIERRE OBENDRAUF / MONTREAL GAZETTE

The taxi industry is mobilizing in its fight — both on the legal front and in the field — against the agreement between the Quebec government and Uber.

The authorities have taken matters in hand on the road by issuing tickets and seizing the vehicles of Uber drivers.

The government’s intervention is based on a law stating that a period of 20 days is required between the creation of a pilot project and its implementation, as well as the absence of a ministerial order required to endorse it.

“Our inspectors are on the road and Uber is considered … a company (that) does not operate in a legal framework,” Marie-Hélène Giguère, a spokesperson for the Taxi Bureau of Montreal, told La Presse Canadienne.

According to the latest statement on Tuesday, traffic inspectors stopped 12 Uber drivers, three in Quebec City and nine in the outskirts of Montreal, while the Bureau de taxi de Montréal did the same in three cases on the island of Montreal.

In all cases, drivers were given a ticket accompanied by a fine and costs totalling $3,750, their vehicles were seized for seven days and their licenses suspended for the same period.

Guy Chevrette, a spokesperson for CPCDIT, a group representing the taxi industry, announced the creation of a coalition of various groups of taxi drivers and the initiation of legal proceedings, including filing an injunction Thursday to stop the activities of Uber and to declare illegal the agreement between the company and Quebec.

Nothing is ruled out as pressure tactics, said Chevrette, a former provincial minister, but he pledged that services for the most vulnerable citizens will at no time be affected by possible actions.

London mayor pledges new support for black cab industry in Uber fight

Lynsey Barber

Sadiq Khan has unveiled plans for London's cab industry (Source: Getty)
Sadiq Khan has unveiled plans for London's cab industry (Source: Getty)

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has put his backing behind the capital's famous black cabs as they face competition from Uber with new measures to support the industry.

City Hall has promised to increase the number of taxi ranks around the city and increase access to bus lanes, while cab information will be added to Transport for London's journey planning information online by next summer.

The Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan was unveiled by City Hall on Tuesday morning amid a renewed battle between the transport regulator and Uber over rules governing its operations in the capital.

But Khan has also promised to push through measures aimed at improving public safety which Uber had sought to fight in the courts and is seeking additional rules that would require minicab drivers to pass an advanced driving test before being allowed on the road.

He is also calling for statutory definitions for private hire vehicles and taxis from the government to bring clarity across the industry which has been involved in a long standing dispute. Black cab drivers believe the Uber app constitutes "plying for hire" which is illegal for minicabs.

City Hall will also double the number of compliance officers on the streets and will offer traditional cabbies up to £7,500 in grants for switching to zero emission taxis.

“Our new Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan will help us deliver a truly world-class service for Londoners and create a vibrant taxi and private hire market where all providers can continue to flourish," said Khan.

“From my first day at City Hall I have been determined to drive up standards and improve safety for every passenger in London, while protecting the future of our iconic black cabs that provide a unique and invaluable service for Londoners.”

The trade group representing London's black cab drivers welcomed the measures.

“The taxi trade welcomes this plan and recognises its commitment to raising safety standards in the private hire industry. We particularly welcome the mayor’s decision to re-visit the requirement for operator Insurance for private hire vehicles and his request that central government define plying for hire in statute,” said Steve McNamara, general secretary of the London Taxi Driver Association.

Read more: Don't fall for the Uber hype - London needs a common sense approach to taxis

However, one union representing cabbies was more cautious and accused the mayor of "ducking responsibility.

"The union gives a guarded welcome to elements of this package that have already been widely trailed and we now expect that our London Taxi reps will be fully engaged ‎in discussions as to how this strategy moves forwards," said general secretary of the RMT union said.

"However, we are bitterly disappointed that once again the fundamental issues of illegal plying for hire and the abuse of the regulations by outfits like Uber have been ducked even though they pose the greatest threat to public safety and the future of the black taxi trade."

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HOUSTON CITY OFFICIALS TO FIND WAYS IN PUSHING TAXI INDUSTRY TO THE DIGITAL AGE

Sep 13, 2016 06:54 AM EDT | J Russ I.

In November 2014, Uber legally entered the city of Houston and has since taken over the transport competition. Now, the city officials are planning in consolidating dispatch via a private smartphone app to try and keep up with their techier rival.

Arro - a company already coalescing dispatch in several cities such as New York, Boston, and San Francisco -  has been called upon by the Houston's functionaries on Monday to develop a universal taxi app for the city's 146 taxi companies.

"We're excited to bring the taxi industry, fully, into the digital age," said Tina Paez, director of Houston's Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department. The move is to put a better system on the nearly 4,000 taxi and limo permits of roughly 9,000 drivers operating in the city.

The app would certainly help taxi and limo companies in dispersing their vehicle and finding people looking for a ride in various parts of the city, breaking its reliance on downtown cab stands and airport trips which are the standard practice for years.

"I think you will have people come to rely on faster cab service than they do now," said Duane Kamins, owner of Lone Star Cab Company.

Aside from improving how taxi and limo operates, the app also stands as an emergency lever should Uber move out the city before Super Bowl begins. Uber has been known to oppose some of Houston's rules such as stricter safety concerns and limitations where drivers can pick-up and drop-off passengers.

Lawmakers are also thwarting the fledgling company's expansion by imposing requirements on driver fingerprinting, vehicle inspection, and insurance fees. Since passing the legislation, more than 20,000 people in Houston who completed Uber's screening failed when it came to acquiring the city's licensing process, based on an Uber survey.

More than half of the numbers mentioned above - mainly minorities and low-income individuals - said that the regulations were too costly, complicated, and time-consuming turning them away from the company.

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CITY OF HOUSTON DEVELOPING AN UBER-LIKE APP FOR TAXIS AND LIMOS

Cab and limousine companies long threatened by ride-sharing apps are cheering on the city's plan to bring in a similar app that will include their services.

The app will be run by a private developer and the city cannot reveal details, including the app name, due to the contract bidding regulations.

ABC13 got access to a summary of a recent meeting between Mayor Sylvester Turner and many of the car companies in the area. It revealed information about the proposal, which still requires city council approval.

"People can vote with their telephone. Just tap the app where you want to go, may the best man win," said Joe Jordan, owner of Jordan Limousines, who attended the meeting.

Much like the ride-sharing services, the app will tell customers what their nearby options are. Instead of Uber drivers though, it will show cabs and limos. The prices are the same those vehicles normally charge, plus $2 from the customer and $1 from the driver to cover the cost of the app, according to information from the city.

"Congestion will be a factor in a thriving city. With the Super Bowl only months away, it is critical to ensure we have multiple, viable transportation options throughout this sprawling city," the city explained in writing.

"It's competition. That's the American way. That's what we want. It gives everyone the same opportunity," Jordan said.

The app is set to be revealed next week. It's expected to get the go-ahead so users could be able to download it and use it before the end of October.

In meeting presentation materials, officials detailed plans for a 'multi-modal' solution to the city's growing transportation needs, meaning a combination of private and public transportation. A description of the app said it is not intended to end Uber, but to create more ways for Houstonians to travel.

Uber did not respond to our request for comment on this new program.

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Uber claims it opens cities up – but really closes them down

Uber drivers protest the company's pay policies in New York City, February 2016. Image: Getty.
Uber drivers protest the company's pay policies in New York City, February 2016. Image: Getty.

Most of us know the story of what Salon’s Elias Isquith calls “Wall Street’s favourite disrupter”. Uber, the ride-hailing service run primarily through smartphones, is a global economic success story.

In 2008, it was but an idea held by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp. Today it is a profit-making “unicorn”, recently valued at $62.5 billion.

How Uber came to be worth such significant sums is a question often posed. Integral to its success was its speedy efforts at connecting riders with drivers through smartphones. It became an on-demand disruptor business and, in the process, alluringly branded itself as a service “for the good of all” that puts “people first”.

Uber takes from over-priced taxis, facilitates livelihoods for its drivers, gives to the needy rider and sticks it to urban regulators – or so the story goes.

Much closer to the truth may be that, when Uber isn’t wrapping itself in cloaks of communal good, it is busy trying to institute a monopoly on ride-hailing. It actively encloses what could be a more open city in which riders and drivers work to benefit city residents.

Now you’re open, now you’re closed

In other words, Uber “opens” cities to “close” them. It's just another intermediary capitalist (like eBay, Airbnb and PayPal) that profits from the needs of typically urban people connected to the internet. It's an extension of capitalism, a business trying to maximise its market share.

Uber “opens to close” a city in three steps:

It disrupts the existing taxi monopoly (a closed system) through marketing and paying fines incurred by its drivers;

It entices riders to download its app, drivers to “share” their car, and urban regulators to acquiesce to the popularity of the Uber service; and

It excludes ride-hailing alternatives through its maximised market share.

The marketing Uber uses to disrupt the grip one or more taxi companies have on a city is to present a rich rhetoric of being the “alternative”, somehow “grassroots” and, most importantly, a “communal” choice for drivers and riders. It casts itself as a Robin Hood in the struggle against unjust, or simply outdated, urban regulators.

This branding, Uber’s cheaper price and its convenient app make it an alluring option for ride-hailers. So long, cabbie dynasty, this city is now open.

But because Uber grows within the shell of the taxi industry all it really does is open a city to enclose it for its own benefit. It does this through consistent marketing to riders, but also by enticing drivers to partner with Uber with promises of higher pay and a be-your-own-boss mentality.

Uber also crows about creating tens of thousands of jobs and getting 1m women into work. This helps to get regulators onside.

A city is “closed” when Uber’s enclosure is complete: when it has successfully disrupted taxis, changed ride-hailing regulation and has a city’s residents on board (so to speak).

We say closed because an “Uber city” is a city captured by intermediary (middleman) capitalism. Defeated taxis are creating their own apps, and alternatives abound. But Uber’s market dominance makes it very difficult for more meaningful alternatives to emerge.

Market dominance means the exclusion of competitors and the control of the means of production so that profits keep rolling in. “Capture your market” is a mantra for a reason. And that reason is because it works – it’s Capitalism 101.
An open-city alternative

The need to get around a city safely and conveniently shouldn’t be viewed as an opportunity for businesses like Uber to cash in.

A truly open city would be one where residents are invited, supported and backed by their city government to create their own ride-hailing apps. Riders still get picked up for a fair price, drivers still get paid more, but profit goes into a public trust to ensure the apps provide good service but also to fund resident-specific projects, like bike roads fully separated from cars.

Not only will this keep jobs and money inside the city, but it also puts a vital transportation resource into the hands of city residents and not a foreign business. The need to get around a city safely, conveniently and with as little carbon emissions as possible shouldn’t be viewed as an opportunity for businesses like Uber to cash in. It should rather be treated as a common pool resource.

Since the majority of people in cities still depend on cars and roads to get around, chasing the wrong incentives can lead to chronic traffic jams and a host of other problems.

City residents don’t want traffic jams; moving around is a vital part of their daily lives. Uber doesn’t necessarily mind traffic jams because of surge pricing and a rolling meter – it still makes money. Ironically, despite this conflict of interests, Uber is the $62bn Wall Street poster child and the open-city alternative is excluded.

Uber may open cities from taxi rackets, but it closes them off to the possibility of more radical and meaningful alternatives.The Conversation

Jean-Paul Gagnon is assistant professor in politics, David Carter associate dean of research and Fanny Thornton assistant professor of law at the University of Canberra.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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Bike courier charged in Bay Street confrontation with taxi driver

This still image taken from a video posted online shows a bike courier lying on the sidewalk after being struck by a taxi in downtown Toronto.
This still image taken from a video posted online shows a bike courier lying on the sidewalk after being struck by a taxi in downtown Toronto.

Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Sunday, September 4, 2016 6:32PM EDT

A bike courier has been charged in connection with a confrontation with a taxi driver that occurred downtown last month.

It happened on Bay Street, just north of St. Mary Street on Aug. 18 at around 5:45 p.m.

According to police, a 57-year-old man was driving a 2011 Toyota Camry taxi northbound on Bay Street near Gerrard Street at the same time that a 31-year-old cyclist was riding in the same direction.

In the course of a confrontation, the cyclist reached into the cab and assaulted the driver as both made their way northbound, police said.

As the pair neared St. Mary Street, the cyclist was struck by the vehicle.

The cyclist sustained non-life-threatening injuries as a result of the collision.

Part of the incident was caught on video and widely reposted on social media.

On Aug. 25, police charged a driver identified as Ali Farkhondehfall of Thornhill with assault with a weapon and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle in connection with the incident

Police said Sunday that the cyclist has also been charged.

Baldeep Cheema, 31, of Brampton has been charged with assault.

He is scheduled to make a court appearance on Oct. 17.

 

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Uber and Lyft are getting pushback from municipalities all over the US

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Uber and Lyft, and others, want hailing a ride to be as common as catching the bus. But their aggressive expansion plans are being stymied in many places in the U.S. by lawmakers because of safety concerns, pressure from taxi companies or a desire to level the playing field for incumbents.

Some methods lawmakers are using to thwart their expansion include introducing requirements on driver fingerprinting, vehicle inspection, insurance, fees, and limits on where drivers can pick up and drop off passengers.

Much to the chagrin of taxi and limousine companies, ride-hailing services — whose popularity has irrecoverably slashed the value of a once-prized taxi medallion in places like New York City — have proven addictive to America's urban population, particularly at the often heavily subsidized prices they offer riders.

Fingerprint background check

George Frey | Getty Images

Today, 34 U.S. states and more than 69 cities have passed legislation governing ride-hailing companies, also known as transportation network companies (TNCs). Another six states have enacted legislation mandating minimum insurance requirements.

Even still, some lawmakers and taxi and limo companies are pushing for more stringent regulation on things like driver fingerprinting, pick-up locations and fees. Future regulatory battles around worker classification and autonomous vehicles promise to keep things interesting.

The two private companies are spending millions to lobby politicians, reach voters with ads and lure riders with promotions. At the same time, competition in the already aggressive ride-hailing business keeps getting tougher. Alphabet's Google is jumping into the market with a service built on its popular Waze app. (Details of the new carpooling service — which aims to undercut Uber and Lyft and will launch in San Francisco in the fall — were reported by The Wall Street Journal's Jack Nicas on Wednesday.)

Travis Kalanick, chief executive officer of Uber Technologies
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images Travis Kalanick, chief executive officer of Uber Technologies

To streamline the hurdles ahead, both Uber and Lyft would like to see more states enact TNC-friendly legislation governing key markets. Fingerprint-based driver background checks — which some lawmakers believe are vital safety measures and taxi and limousine owners want to level the playing field — remain a big sticking point.

Uber and Lyft have argued that fingerprint-based background checks do nothing to improve safety and act as a disincentive for drivers to sign up, reducing the quality of their services. Both prefer their own self-administered background checks, which they say draw on more up-to-date information and are less onerous for drivers.

Here are some places in the U.S. where friction between the companies and government is particularly acute.

Texas

Lyft Application on cell phone
Source: Lyft Lyft Application on cell phon

A number of cities in the Lone Star State — which has not adopted statewide TNC legislation — are currently weighing fingerprint requirements.

Uber says it will leave Houston — the fourth-biggest market in the U.S. — if the city does not suspend a driver fingerprinting requirement enacted in August 2014. The company has been wrangling with lawmakers over the issue ever since the legislation was passed.

"Houston has some of the most burdensome regulations for ridesharing in the country, and it is only one of two cities in the U.S. to require drivers to be fingerprinted in addition to completing Uber's background screening process," Uber said in a report published in April. "It can take up to four months for a Houston driver to go from signing up with Uber to being granted a two-year license by the City."

Since passing the legislation requiring driver fingerprinting, more than 20,000 people in Houston completed Uber's screening process but failed to complete the city's licensing process, according to an Uber survey detailed in the report. Almost two-thirds of the respondents — mainly minorities and low-income people — said the regulations were too complex, time-consuming and costly.

"These regulations have prevented thousands of safe, qualified drivers — especially part-time drivers — from getting on the road," the company said in its report.

But so far the city is not backing down and, instead, working on new ideas — to be presented at a City Council meeting on Sept. 12 — to open up the market to Uber's competitors. Lyft does not operate in Houston because of the fingerprinting requirement, but two other ride-hailing rivals — Wingz and Get Me — are there, support fingerprinting and are ready to soak up Uber's business should the ride-hailing giant say goodbye to the Bayou City.

Pulling the plug on Houston might seem like a risky move, but it would not be unprecedented. Both Uber and Lyft left Austin in May after voters rejected their plan for self-administered background checks in favor of imposing a fingerprint requirement. A number of start-ups are now vying for their stranded customers, while Uber and Lyft engage in ongoing talks with city officials.

Thirteen cities in Texas have adopted the TNC regulation that Uber approves of, but Galveston and Corpus Christi remain notable holdouts. The companies likely hope that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will enact statewide legislation that is friendly to ride-hailing services, in keeping with the state's pro-business "Wide Open for Business" slogan.

Illinois

Of course, statewide legislation does not always fix the problem. Illinois has enacted laws governing TNCs but Chicago — the third-largest market in the U.S. — governs transportation locally and remains a "problem" city for Uber and Lyft.

In June, after a major public relations campaign the two companies waged on social media, TV and in newspapers, Mayor Rahm Emanuel signed a controversial bill which did not include driver fingerprinting. Uber and Lyft approved of the new law, but the taxi industry largely did not.

Chicago's taxi companies and their allies on the City Council have accused the mayor — who's brother, Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel, is an Uber investor — of favoring Uber with light regulation. Despite the recent passage of the new TNC regulation, a Chicago licensing and fingerprinting task force is about half way through a six -month study into whether fingerprinting drivers would improve safety.

Uber and Lyft have threatened to leave the Windy City if fingerprinting is required. Emanuel's former chief of staff, Lisa Schrader, became Uber's director of public affairs for the central U.S. region in August.

New York

Uber drivers hold up protest signs outside the ride sharing company's offices in demonstration against the recent decision to cut fares, in the New York City borough of Queens, NY
Behar Anthony | SIPA | AP Uber drivers hold up protest signs outside the ride sharing company's offices in demonstration against the recent decision to cut fares, in the New York City borough of Queens, NY

The one place where the two companies have accepted driver fingerprinting is New York City, a market that is too big to ignore. There, the companies operate as black car services — since ride-hailing services are illegal — and are regulated under the same laws as taxis and limousines by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC).

The two companies have had an uneasy relationship with Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has been sympathetic to taxi companies.

The City Council has sought to cap ride-hailing companies' growth and to level the playing field for the city's iconic yellow cab drivers. For example, as of Aug. 19 taxi drivers, like their ride-hailing counterparts, are no longer required to pass an English proficiency test and last year the TLC eliminated most geography questions from its licensing exam.

In NYC, it can take up to three months, 60 hours of personal time and $3,000 in fees for drivers to obtain a TLC license, Uber has said. By comparison, in Orange County, California — where drivers are only required to pass Uber's background check — it takes less than two hours and costs about $10, according to the company.

New York state has not adopted statewide legislation and ride-hailing services are not permitted there. The state's insurance law does not recognize Uber's commercial insurance policy — something Uber hopes will change with the passage of a bill in 2017. Uber says that if the state adopts ride-hailing rules that require driver fingerprinting, it will not operate there.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts became the most recent state to pass statewide legislation, with Gov. Charlie Baker signing the bill into law on Aug. 5.The new law has, rather unusually, drawn broad support from both the taxi industry and Uber and Lyft. It requires TNC drivers to submit to a double background check, but does not require fingerprinting, something Uber's opponents say may come later in a separate bill.

"We believe fingerprinting is going to be a fait accompli in Massachusetts," said Scott Solombrino, a board member of the National Limousine Association and president and CEO of Dav El, which operates a chauffeur transportation business in 600 cities globally.

"You are seeing a trend where people are no longer going to let safety be sacrificed for corporate profits," said Solombrino.

Uber driver Dean Johnson poses for a portrait while working outside South Station in Boston on April 22, 2016.
Craig F. Walker | The Boston Globe | Getty Images Uber driver Dean Johnson poses for a portrait while working outside South Station in Boston on April 22, 2016.

The Massachusetts law also imposes a 20-cent-per-ride fee on TNCs, with 5 cents going to subsidize taxis, and allows drivers to pick up rides at Boston's convention center and airport. The taxi subsidy naturally has some irked.

"We should not be in the business of subsidizing outdated approaches and their business models," said Kirill Evdakov, CEO of ride-hailing start-up Fasten, which operates in Boston and Austin. "It benefits medallions and hurts drivers and riders."

The law prohibits cities and towns from setting their own regulations for ride-hailing services, a measure which should help shield Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, from federal lawsuits brought by taxi groups demanding that the cities hold Uber and Lyft to the same regulations as taxis companies. Similar suits have been filed by taxi firms against a number of cities including New York City, Chicago, Miami and most recently Newark, New Jersey.

Florida

Florida is among the 16 states which have not yet adopted statewide regulation governing ride-hailing companies. The House and Senate closed the last session locked at an impasse over who should govern TNCs; the local governments which regulate taxi firms, or state regulators which Uber and Lyft prefer.

Miami-Dade, Florida's most populous county, has passed legislation legalizing Uber and Lyft, and loosening taxi regulation.

Uber Technologies app

Victor J. Blue | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Uber Technologies app

Other counties are not necessarily following its lead. For example, Hillsborough County, Florida, which encompasses Tampa Bay, is moving forward with new rules which include requiring driver fingerprinting. Both Uber and Lyft have opposed these rules and their fate in the county looks to be uncertain.

"The proposed regulations — ­­which closely track regulations proposed by the taxicab industry in 2015 ­­ — would protect the incumbent industry by imposing anti­-competitive and antiquated regulations on the TNC industry," wrote Kate Wooler, an attorney representing Uber, in a letter to Public Transportation Commission Executive Director Kyle Cockream obtained by Florida Politics and published Aug. 1. "These regulations are an attempt to force TNCs to pack up and leave the county."

Two ride-hailing start-ups looking to take advantage of an exit by Uber and Lyft are San Francisco-based Wingz and local competitor DriveSociety, which is planning to launch on Sept. 18, roll out statewide by the end of the month, and enter the NYC, Chicago, Austin and Phoenix markets at a later stage. Going up against such deep-pocketed and well-established rivals as Uber and Lyft is obviously an audacious plan.

"I'm betting we take the entire market in Tampa Bay on Day One of our operations," said DriveSociety CEO Marcus Carter. "Might sound crazy to some, but this was carefully calculated and executed."

New Jersey

New Jersey is another key state working its way toward statewide ride-hailing legislation — lawmakers are currently weighing whether TNC drivers should undergo fingerprint-based background checks.

In August, Newark cab and limo companies filed a federal lawsuitagainst the city of Newark, the largest New Jersey city, arguing that a $10 million deal it struck with Uber violates their constitutional rights.

The plaintiffs, which include Newark Cab Association and Newark Taxi Owner Association, allege that Newark is violating their rights under the Takings and Equal Protection Clauses of the U.S. Constitution by heavily regulating taxis and requiring them to buy $500,000 licenses while imposing few regulations on Uber. Minimal regulation has allowed Uber and other TNCs to flourish at their expense, the suit claims.

Generally, the U.S. makes it easy on Uber compared with Europe and parts of Asia, but to maintain its meteoric growth rate Uber needs a steady supply of drivers — until it introduces autonomous cars.

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Taxi driver Uber compensation highest of three levy options considered

A NEW $2 fee on taxi, Uber and hire-car passenger trips to begin from 2018 was the highest of three levy options considered by the State Government.

Cabinet’s Policy Strategy Budget Committee looked at a $1, $1.50, and $2 levy to help pay for industry reforms inc­lu­ding a buyback of taxi lic­ences, before settling on the maximum option.

It is understood ministers argued this would help raise enough money to compensate the taxi industry while keeping most costs off the state Budget bottom line.

Taxi drivers rally at Daniel Andrews' electorate office in Noble Park. Picture: Richard Serong
Taxi drivers rally at Daniel Andrews' electorate office in Noble Park. Picture: Richard Serong

Premier Daniel Andrews last week announced taxi fares would be deregulated within two years, Uber and other ride-sharing services would be legalised, and licence fees for all operators would ­effectively be reduced to zero.

The Premier offered $100,000 compensation to taxi licence holders, with $50,000 for a second licence.

Taxi drivers and owners have described the plan as ­inadequate, and threatened to strike on AFL Grand Final day or shut down city streets.

Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan urged calm and said significant support was on offer for taxi owners, including a $50 million fund that was available now — while the ­industry changes wouldn’t begin until 2018.

Taxi drivers rally at Daniel Andrews' electorate office in Noble Park. Picture: Richard Serong
Taxi drivers rally at Daniel Andrews' electorate office in Noble Park. Picture: Richard Serong

On Monday, dozens of cabbies rallied at Mr Andrews’ Noble Park office, saying the “gloves are on”.

The group vowed to protest on the steps of Parliament from midday on Tuesday.

Jackie Antoniou and her parents had invested $1 million into three taxi licences.

“They’ve taken our hard work from under us,” she said.

“We’re not greedy, just pay us what we paid for it.

“They’re robbing people who have really done it tough.”

Anthony Parisi, also a lic­ence holder, said the government shouldn’t be able to “destroy small business with a stroke of a pen”.

Ms Allan said the government was offering “significant financial support”.

“I’m also examining other ways that we can provide some additional support during this period of time,” she said.

“While this is going on, I don’t think that it’s necessary for there to be disruption to the local community, disruption to major events.

“I don’t think that’s going to advance the cause, I don’t think that’s going to change the outcome.”

matthew.johnston@news.com.au

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Bobby McFerrin – Don’t Worry Be Happy

Taxi driver faces charges after video of cab hitting cyclist goes viral

57-year-old driver charged with 1 count of assault with a weapon: his taxi

CBC News Posted: Aug 25, 2016 6:39 PM ET  Last Updated: Aug 25, 2016 6:39 PM ET

Toronto police have laid charges against a cab driver after a video of a taxi ramming a bicycle courier went viral on YouTube last week.

The 57-year-old Thornhill man faces one count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and one count of assault with a weapon — in this case, his taxi.

Police allege the accused and the 31-year-old cyclist, who works for Favour food delivery, had already had what Toronto police Const. Clint Stibbe called "a physical altercation" on Bay Street.

Stibbe said he couldn't elaborate on what kind of scuffle that was.

But there's clear footage of the cyclist tapping on the cab's window as it inched closer to him. After that, the driver veered directly into the bicycle sending both man and bike sprawling on to the sidewalk.

The accused is an independent owner and taxi operator, according to the city of Toronto.

The person who shot the video can be heard approaching the cyclist toward the end of the video, and asking him, "Are you all right? You OK?"

"Yeah," the cyclist responds before yelling at the cab driver, "You're going to jail! That is assault!"

The taxi driver will appear in court on Oct. 4

The cyclist, meanwhile, suffered minor injuries, Stibbe said.

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First driverless taxi hits the streets of Singapore

The nuTonomy driverless taxi. — Picture courtesy of nuTonomy via TODAY
The nuTonomy driverless taxi. — Picture courtesy of nuTonomy via TODAY

SINGAPORE, Aug 25 — The first driverless taxi began work today in a limited public trial on the streets of Singapore.

Developer nuTonomy invited a select group of people to download their app and ride for free in its “robo-taxi” in a western Singapore hi-tech business district, hoping to get feedback ahead of a planned dull launch of the service in 2018.

“This is really a moment in history that’s going to change how cities are built, how we really look at our surroundings,” nuTonomy executive Doug Parker told Reuters.

The trial rides took place in a Mitsubishi i-MiEv electric vehicle, with an engineer sitting behind the steering wheel to monitor the system and take control if necessary.

The trial is on an ongoing basis, nuTonomy said, and follows private testing that began in April.

Parker, whose company has partnered with the Singapore government on the project, said he hoped to have 100 taxis working commercially in the Southeast Asian citystate by 2018.

Nutonomy is one of several companies racing to launch self-driving vehicles, with automakers and technology firms striking new alliances.

Swedish automaker Volvo AB said last week it had agreed to a US$300 million (RM1.2 billion) alliance with ride-hailing service Uber to develop a driverless vehicle.

Israeli driving assistant software maker Mobileye NV said its vehicle, developed with Delphi Automotive Plc, would be ready for production by 2019, while Ford Motor Co said its self-driving car was slated for 2021. — Reuters

 

Finnish police crack down on Uber drivers without taxi permits

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnish police are cracking down on Uber drivers caught operating without a taxi driver's license by issuing fines and confiscating earnings via the courts.

Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc, valued at over $60 billion, has faced bans and protests from established taxi operators around the world, but is legal in Finland - provided drivers hold the proper license.

Helsinki police have so far given small fines to about 50 drivers, but recently they have started to make preliminary investigations into all cases.

"This way, we can investigate the scope of (a driver's) business and gains from it," Inspector Pekka Seppala said on Tuesday.

He said the police currently had around 60 cases under investigation which could lead to criminal prosecutions.
Local courts in April ordered two Uber drivers to give up their earnings - 12,250 euros ($13,880) and 3,000 euros respectively, to the state. Both have appealed against the verdicts.

The government has said it plans to introduce legislation to make the taxi market easier for newer entrants, but the bill is yet to be shaped amid disagreements in the ruling coalition.

"It's disappointing that there's a return to enforcement just when modern ride-sharing regulation is being prepared," an Uber spokesman said, adding more than 100,000 Finns had downloaded the Uber app.

One Uber driver, who declined to be named, said it took too long to get a taxi permit in Finland and he planned to continue driving without one.

"I pay my taxes and take care of my accounting. But I don't have a taxi license so I've been fined twice," he said.

($1 = 0.8826 euros)

(Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl and Tuomas Forsell; Editing by Mark Potter)

Read the original article on Reuters. Copyright 2016. Follow Reuters on Twitter.

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Massachusetts Is Going to Tax Uber to Subsidize the Taxi Industry

By Jordan Weissmann

For tech startups that operate in a legal gray area, getting taxed is a bit like graduating from high school. It's a gesture of regulatory acceptance—a sign that politicians have adjusted to the company's existence and begun viewing it as a potential source of revenue, rather than a mere threat to incumbant interests to squelched. Airbnb has been an especially instructive example—it practically begscities to tax its operations, knowing that will be a step on the path to legitimacy.

That's why, on balance, the news that Massachusetts has passed a new 20 cent tax on every trip ordered through ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft is a good omen for the companies. The new levy was included in a wider regulatory bill that will, among other things, institute a two-step background-check process for drivers and create a new division within the state government to oversee the companies. The tax likely isn't enough to change demand for ride-hailing services. But since it will mostly go toward city and state budgets, it likely means that elected officials will have an incentive to make sure the startups stick around. Between that, and the new bureaucratic institutions devoted to overseeing Uber and Lyft, the industry hasn't just finished 12th grade—it's basically just wrapped up a bachelor's.

However, the new tax has one quirk: 5 cents of the fee generated by each ride will be used to subsidize the state's licensed taxi industry. As Reuters has reported, it's not entirely clear how this arrangement will work yet, but, “The law says the money will help taxi businesses to adopt 'new technologies and advanced service, safety and operational capabilities' and to support workforce development.” A Boston-area industry rep said it might go toward improving the smartphone app taxis there use.

So Uber and Lyft are being asked to fund their industry rivals in return for doing business in the Bay State. (At least until 2021. After 2021, the nickel fee starts going to the state and municipalities, along with the other 15 cents of the tax.) Is this absurd? Maybe a little. But as a price to pay for regulatory normalization, it's relatively light. Mostly, it seems like a modest payoff to help the taxi lobby swallow its own concessions in the bill. For instance, taxi operators argued that Uber and Lyft drivers should have to be fingerprinted, just like their own employees. Uber pushed back, and the requirement is absent from the final legislation. Does the taxi subsidy make economic sense? No, not really. But as a temporary political accommodation, it doesn't seem especially egregious. And now Uber gets to operate 100 percent on the up-and-up. It should be thrilled.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Jordan Weissmann is Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.

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If Australian taxi drivers are getting millions in ‘disruption compensation’, here are other handouts to consider

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Now Victoria’s legalising Uber – and it’s going to cost everyone $2 a ride

Victoria is the latest state planning to legalise ride-sharing, with the Andrews government claiming it will create 3,500 jobs.

The decision paves the way for Uber, which has been operating illegally in the state for more than a year and makes Victoria the final state to yield to the US-based giant.

But everyone taking a taxi or Uber will pay $2 a trip for at least the next eight years as part of a $378 million compensation package for the taxi industry.

Victoria’s changes are the most far-reaching and expensive of any of the public transport reforms introduced by state governments as Uber pushed its way into the market.

Over the next two years, the existing taxi licence will be abolished, replaced by a single registration system covering commercial passenger vehicles, including taxis, hire cars and ride share services.

All drivers will be accredited by the Taxi Services Commission and have to pass police, medical and driving history checks. They will also face ongoing criminal data matching. The current knowledge test will be scrapped.

Rank and hail work will only be available to people who meet certain requirements, including cameras and fare meters.

There’s $75 million allocated to a “Fairness Fund” for existing taxi drivers in immediate financial hardship as a result of these changes, including $25 million to improve access for people with a disability. The Taxi Services Commission will also have a dedicated Commissioner for disability services.

Premier Daniel Andrews says draft legislation to be introduced this year to reduce the hire car licencing fee to zero, with a further raft of changes introduced in 2017.

“This is a comprehensive and fair transformation of taxi and hire car services, which responds to new technology that is changing the way people travel,” he said.

Cabcharge CEO Andrew Skelton said he hoped the changes would create a fairer environment for all industry participants, but called the compensation package inadequate.

“The Victorian Government has an obligation to taxi licence holders, because people either bought the plates from the Government or bought them on the secondary market on the basis that the Government would not undermine their value,” he said.

“Most licence holders are mum and dad investors who have purchased taxi licence plates either to operate a taxi business in their local community or to establish some retirement savings. These investments typically form a large portion of their retirement capital.

“The compensation package outlined by the minister is quite inadequate, but may go some way to help those individuals who will now face considerable losses through the devaluation of government-issued taxi licence plates. While compensation for plate owners is imperative, it’s fundamentally unfair that Victorian passengers will be made to subsidise what is essentially the government’s decision and responsibility.”

Victoria is the last Australian state to announce the legalisation of ride-sharing.

NSW and the ACT introduced it last year, followed by SA and WA. Ride-sharing starts in Queensland next month and legislation is currently passing through Tasmania’s parliament. The Northern Territory does not have Uber.

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Newly Licensed Uber is Not Part of the Sharing Economy

Instead, our city has licensed an American for-profit monopoly.

After months of unprecedented lobbying by U.S. corporate giant Uber, the City of Toronto is implementing a new set of rules that legalizes the hitherto illegal 12,000 cars whose owners work for Uber. It may look like a victory for ride sharing in the city—but that’s a myth.

According to the new regulations, drivers will be dishing out of their own pockets to drive for Uber. The company will pay a collective commercial insurance for drivers (though there’s no information on whether drivers and/or customers will actually pay for it), and it will take out a collective licence, which may be as low as $20,000. Uber drivers will not have to get either taxi-driver training or an individual commercial driver’s licence—but they will have to get, and pay for, a criminal record check, and they will not be able to use cars that are more than seven years old. Individual drivers will now have to give the City 30 cents out of each fare collected.

In addition, no constraints are applied to Uber’s practice of siphoning off 20 per cent of each Uber fare, a ridiculous profit margin given that all that drivers get is an app. Uber has an online course for drivers that lasts all of 16 minutes and basically says, “The customer is always right.” Taxi drivers, by contrast, get education on human rights and how to serve passengers with disabilities.

A key point not made in most of the reports is that not only is Uber surge-pricing legalized, but it is also protected from undercutting by regular taxi drivers; they too can now charge whatever they want if they’re booked ahead rather than hailed on the street. The Edmonton man who was charged, without advance notice, more than $1,000 for an Uber ride across town last New Year’s Eve may soon be getting many sympathetic Facebook messages from hapless car-free Torontonians.

The problem? Uber drivers have no collective voice. This may be why Torontonians do not realize that to use terms such as “the sharing economy” to refer to Uber is like calling Donald Trump a working-class hero. Carpooling and car sharing are in the sharing economy and so are the local websites that facilitate the buying and selling of second-hand goods. But Uber is not an arrangement among citizens, and it is not a company that facilitates such arrangements. Uber is an extremely profitable and aggressive American company with global reach that deliberately opens illegal operations—taking advantage of commuter frustration on the customer side and of the precarious economic situation of many groups of male workers on the driver side—and then hires swarms of professional lobbyists to persuade or pressure local politicians to legalize it after the fact on favourable terms.

The legalization of a for-profit mega corporation could, in theory, improve conditions for drivers. But Uber takes zero responsibility for drivers’ working hours, health, safety, illness, and old age (as is the case, it should be said, with taxi plate owners, who do not consider their drivers employees). Uber sets the fares, siphons huge profits, and subjects drivers to a system of consumer surveillance whereby a driver can be fired—an interesting concept, since they’re not actually hired—for getting ratings of four stars or less.

As a university professor, I know many 20-somethings who could use part-time, flexible-hours jobs, so I tried to investigate Uber driver income and working conditions. However, reliable information is hard to find. Uber has flooded the internet with good news and personal stories that appear to be spontaneous but all seem authored by young white men driving cars that they are not paying for in wealthy cities. But in the truly independent accounts that do exist, one discovers that, once established, Uber may then cut fares by as much as 40 per cent to maintain market share: drivers’ incomes be damned. One also discovers that in order to make the $20 or so an hour Uber promises, one would have to work about 60 hours per week and in “good markets” (not Detroit, where Uber imposes a starvation rate of 30 cents per mile).

But if drivers, rather than the company, bear the burden of the new rules, customers don’t win. A key fact is that in Toronto (as in other Canadian cities) Uber has an effective monopoly. There is no made-in-Ontario or even in-Canada competitor. So, while Toronto customers have been happy until now (since, like bootleggers, Uber can operate cheaper and respond to demand quicker than the legal, regulated industry), Torontonians will soon realize that being in the grip of a foreign monopoly is far from the cool and fun space promised by the “sharing economy” myth.

The City’s new rules theoretically allow other services to operate; but it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible now, for a competitor to make it. And in other cities, Uber has been known to lower its prices long enough to drive less deep-pocketed competitors into the ground. Once it has a monopoly, prices go up and up.

So what Toronto has just legalized is not a sharing operation but a for-profit U.S. monopoly that has insinuated itself among councillors in a way that strikes me as requiring investigation from the ethics commissioner. At one point last year there were media reports of 100 lobbyists prowling City Hall. Did they earn their pay? How?

I have studied municipal regulation in Toronto for years, and I cannot think of any other situation where a large U.S. firm has been given such a sweet deal. (Local companies sometimes get exclusive deals that could be questioned, but nothing that compares to Uber’s rosy financial future).

A few die-hards on Toronto City Council have continued to complain. When the new rules came into effect this past week, Councillor Gord Perks (Ward 14, Parkdale–High Park) noted, “There’s a more level field between the millionaires and the billionaires”—or, between owners of multiple taxi plates and Uber. Perks also pointed out that drivers as well as passengers lose out in the new regulations. But overall, Uber did get the lobbying and PR that the company paid for.

(Executive director of licensing and standards Tracey Cook claims that Uber did not bully the City into licensing.)

The result? There has been no outcry about the fact that Mayor John Tory has consistently and blatantly winked at Uber’s open law-breaking. One might have thought that after Rob Ford, this city might have a new appreciation for basic legality—but apparently not. If Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne dissed her own government’s liquor regulations and said, “Hey, Ontario, booze cans are here to stay, get used to it, embrace innovation,” she would be trashed. And if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were to declare that drawing up regulations for cannabis is too much trouble and that it’s best to let the market and the “sharing economy” flourish without red tape, the Tories would quickly rise to political heaven. But Tory’s scofflaw attitude has been treated in the media as a valid opinion in favour of the “new economy.”

When Uber “surge-pricing” fares skyrocket the next time the subway breaks down, Torontonians will get buyer’s remorse and belatedly wonder if those angry taxi drivers maybe had a point. But by then it will be too late. Let’s hope that in other areas of municipal regulation—Airbnb especially—public officials start to operate with independent expert advice instead of bending to PR and lobby pressures from greedy corporations.


Mariana Valverde is a Professor of Criminology at the University of Toronto. She specializes in urban law and governance and wrote the 2012 book Everyday Law on the Street, which examines Toronto’s bylaws.

U.S. judge rejects $100-million settlement in key case with Uber drivers

U.S. District Judge Edward Chen declared the deal unfair in a decision issued late Thursday, complicating Uber’s efforts to remove the legal threat of having its drivers classified as employees.

That distinction would give Uber’s drivers more rights and benefits. That would in turn force the San Francisco company to change its business in ways that would cause its expenses to soar and potentially undercut its plans to eventually sell its stock in an initial public offering.

Uber expressed its disappointment with Chen’s ruling in a statement that said the company will consider its options. The alternatives include taking the case to trial, awaiting rulings in two appeals that would bolster Uber’s cause, or negotiating a revised settlement with the drivers in an attempt to appease Chen.

In another case earlier this year, Uber rival Lyft initially had a similar settlement with its drivers rejected by a different judge. Lyft raised its initial offer from $12.5-million to $27-million, good enough to win preliminary approval from U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in June.

Shannon Liss-Riordan, the lead attorney representing the Uber drivers, said she thinks a revised settlement is possible in this lawsuit, too. If not, she is prepared to take the case to trial, she told The Associated Press in an email. In that event, the case could be whittled to about 8,000 drivers because of binding arbitration clauses that Uber holds.

“I am disappointed the judge did not approve the settlement, but I understand and I have heard him,” Liss-Riordan wrote.

The agreement would have required Uber to pay at least $84-million to drivers in California and Massachusetts who had been picking up riders who requested them through the company’s service dating back to August 2009. Uber would have paid another $16-million to the drivers if the company’s market value increased by 1.5 times within the first year of its IPO.

If everyone covered in the lawsuit had filed for payments, the California drivers would have received an average of $10 to $1,950 apiece and the Massachusetts drivers would have received an average of $12 to $979.

Uber is currently a privately held company backed by venture capitalists and other investors who have valued the business at more than $60-billion, though some analysts question the reliability of that figure.

Chen also is skeptical of Uber’s prospects in an IPO, saying in his decision that he based his conclusions that the company would only end up paying the drivers a minimum of $84-million.

Most of the money would be designated to settle claims that Uber had been cheating them by refusing to reimburse them for mileage and phone usage while also refusing to pay them for overtime and prohibiting passengers from tipping them. Had the case gone to trial and the drivers prevailed on them, they might have won estimated $854-million, based on estimates from the drivers’ attorneys.

Given the risks facing the drivers had they not won those specific claims in a trial, Chen concluded the $84-million would have been a “fair and adequate” amount.

But Chen was troubled that the settlement also would have prevented the drivers from pursuing claims on a variety of other employment issues that could have generated another $1-billion in a trial verdict favouring their arguments. Lumping in those potential liabilities, the proposed settlement would be paying the drivers less than 5 per cent of what they could win in a trial – a sum that Chen concluded “is not fair, adequate or reasonable.”

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Taiwan asks Uber to pay bill in sales tax stand-off

Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:03am EDT

Taiwan has asked Uber Technologies to pay a sales tax bill estimated by local media to be up to about $6.4 million, the government said on Friday, as a decision looms on whether the global ride-hailing service may be ordered to leave the island.

Taiwan's Investment Commission said earlier this month it may order Uber to exit the market, saying the company misrepresented its business as an internet-based technology platform rather than a transportation service. A decision is due by the end of August.

Uber has not previously been liable for sales tax since it set up shop in Taiwan in 2013. But the government is overhauling the tax regime it imposes on global online service providers, and says Uber owes back taxes.

"As long as they provide services in Taiwan, they have to pay sales taxes," said Wu Ting-yang, auditor of the National Taxation Bureau of Taipei.

Wu declined to disclose how much Uber might be billed for sales tax, but local media reports estimated the tax would be up to T$200 million ($6.4 million).

The company rejected the claim it owes sales taxes.

"Uber is meeting all of its tax obligations under relevant local laws," the firm said in an emailed response to Reuters' questions.

The firm said it had taken part in discussions hosted by the National Taxation Bureau on Thursday "to discuss potential tax reform for cross-border digital services".

(Reporting by Faith Hung; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

Massachusetts Plans to Tax Uber, Lyft to Subsidize Taxis

by 

Would likely be the first such tax in the U.S.

(Reuters) – Massachusetts is preparing to levy a 5-cent fee per trip on ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft and spend the money on the traditional taxi industry, a subsidy that appears to be the first of its kind in the United States.

Republican Governor Charlie Baker signed the nickel fee into law this month as part of a sweeping package of regulations for the industry.

Ride services are not enthusiastic about the fee.

“I don’t think we should be in the business of subsidizing potential competitors,” said Kirill Evdakov, the chief executive of Fasten, a ride service that launched in Boston last year and also operates in Austin, Texas.

Some taxi owners wanted the law to go further, perhaps banning the start-up competitors unless they meet the requirements taxis do, such as regular vehicle inspection by the police.

“They’ve been breaking the laws that are on the books, that we’ve been following for many years,” said Larry Meister, manager of the Boston area’s Independent Taxi Operator’s Association.

The law levies a 20-cent fee in all, with 5 cents for taxis, 10 cents going to cities and towns and the final 5 cents designated for a state transportation fund.

The fee may raise millions of dollars a year because Lyft and Uber alone have a combined 2.5 million rides per month in Massachusetts.

The law says the money will help taxi businesses to adopt “new technologies and advanced service, safety and operational capabilities” and to support workforce development.

Regulations for how the fee will be collected and a plan for how it will be spent still need to be drawn up, said Mark Sternman, a spokesman for the state’s MassDevelopment agency, which will be in charge of the money.

Riders and drivers will not see the fee because the law bars companies from charging them. Instead, companies themselves will pay the state, although Evdakov said it will be passed on to riders or drivers one way or another.

Authorities worldwide are grappling with how to regulate and tax ride-hailing. Seattle has passed a law that allows drivers to unionize. In Taiwan, Uber is battling a tax bill of up to $6.4 million.

Despite the cost, ride services in Massachusetts appear to have accepted the fee in exchange for other provisions. For example, the law does not ban them from picking up at Boston’s airport or convention center, although there will be special rules for those sites.

Lyft is pleased with the law even though it is not perfect, spokesman Adrian Durbin said.

Soliciting readers for how to spend the 5-cent fee, a column in the Boston Globe offered ideas such as hospitality training, incentive bonuses and help so taxi owners could buy “flagship” vehicles like a 1940s Checker or a Porsche.

Meister said the money could go toward improving a smartphone app his association has started using, or to other big needs.

“We definitely need some infrastructure changes,” he said.

The 5-cent fee will be collected through the end of 2021. Then the taxi subsidy will disappear and the 20 cents will be split by localities and the state for five years. The whole fee will go away at the end of 2026.

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Tracey Cook says Uber didn’t bully city into passing legislation

Taxi drivers want Uber blocked until drivers' backgrounds are screened

Tracey Cook, Executive Director of Municipal Licensing and Standards for the City of Toronto, said the city didn't negotiate with Uber before issuing it a licence as a Private Transportation Company. (CBC)
Tracey Cook, Executive Director of Municipal Licensing and Standards for the City of Toronto, said the city didn't negotiate with Uber before issuing it a licence as a Private Transportation Company. (CBC)

CBC News Posted: Aug 19, 2016 2:32 PM ET Last Updated: Aug 19, 2016 2:32 PM ET

The manager behind the city's move to regulate Uber in Toronto said she didn't negotiate with the company or bow to its demands.

Instead, Tracey Cook, the city's executive director of licensing and standards, said Toronto had to regulate the ride-hailing service to keep people who flocked to the service safe.

This week, the city licensed Uber as a Private Transportation Company (PTC) and announced city staff will be checking the background of everyone who drives for the company, including those who use their own car to work as an UberX driver, by the end of September.

The taxi industry, which has opposed Uber since its arrival in Toronto, blasted the move to license Uber. Many accused Cook and the city of giving Uber, the multi-billion dollar company that's exploded in major cities around the world, whatever it wants.

Cook, speaking on CBC Radio's Metro Morning, said that's absolutely not the case.

Toronto taxi drivers criticized Cook at a protest earlier this week. (Linda Ward/CBC)
Toronto taxi drivers criticized Cook at a protest earlier this week. (Linda Ward/CBC)

"They certainly didn't bully me around," she said.

Cook said making Uber a PTC gives the city some oversight of the company and will ensure things like proper insurance are in place. Uber had already taken steps to protect passengers, Cook said, but this step will enhance rider safety.

Eventually, the city is expecting to issue roughly 12,000 licenses to Uber drivers, and Cook said there's a plan in place to make sure drivers are complying with the city's rules.

Cook said the city consulted with Uber during the process — as well as the ride-hailing services Lyft and RideCo — but did not negotiate with the company. City staff also evaluated what was being done in other major American and Canadian cities, which have all dealt with Uber in different ways.

At a protest earlier this week, cab drivers expressed frustration with the move and called on Cook to keep Uber drivers off the road until their backgrounds are checked.

Allowing Uber to keep operating, taxi representatives said, shows that the city has no respect for full-time drivers who have had their earnings cut dramatically since Uber's arrival.

Cook said she does want to see the taxi industry succeed, and pointed to some advantages traditional cabs still have. For example, only cabs will be able to do street hails.

"My biggest concern around private vehicles being on the road is that people are going to start street hailing, and they may be getting into strangers' cars that have not been vetted," she said.

Cook said the city realized early on that there would be no way to ban Uber, as it was clear the public wanted more transportation options.

Airbnb battle looming?

Metro Morning host Matt Galloway also asked Cook if the city was in for a similar battle with Airbnb, as concerns over that service mount in the city.

"Oh lord, I hope not," Cook responded with a laugh.

She said she's hoping the city can work with Airbnb in a collaborative way to address the issues raised by some condo owners in the city.

Cook said she sees some similarities between the two situations. As with Uber, "some people are going to love it. Some people are going to hate it. We have to address it," she said.

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Protesting taxi drivers call Uber licence ‘political stunt’

Toronto cabbies serve a peaceful protest at East York Civic Centre

Taxi drivers at a protest in East York on Wednesday said nothing has changed, despite Uber's new private transportation company licence (RICHARD LAUTENS / TORONTO STAR) |

A peaceful protest was held by cabbies outside the East York Civic Centre on Wednesday morning to protest what they say is the city’s lack of movement and enforcement of UberX drivers.

The United Taxi Workers Association, along with several other taxi companies, gathered around with signs that read “Taxi Lives Matter” and “Taxis Are Here to Stay” and listened to speeches from drivers.

The protest comes after the announcement Tuesday that the city has licensed Uber as the first private transportation company in Toronto under new regulations.

Neil Shorey, assistant general manager of the United Taxi Workers Association, said nothing has changed.Toronto cabbies serve a peaceful protest at East York Civic Centre

“It’s now up to Tracey Cook to enforce what they pass and she keeps extending the deadline,” said Shorey, referring to the city’s executive director for licensing.

Shorey said the city rushed to approve Uber’s licence “for optics or politics” and called it a “political stunt.”

“It legalizes Uber the company, but under Uber the company are all other various thousands of drivers and they have to have background checks, criminal background checks, insurance has to be regulated and logged, their vehicles have to be inspected,” said Shorey.

Cook said the city will “begin the process of reviewing driver files and issuing PTC Driver licences.”

“We recognize that this is a period of transition and transformation for the established taxicab industry, and that change is difficult,” said Cook in a statement. “We hope that the industry will turn its focus to running its business and on providing quality customer service to the public.”

Licensing for the app-based ride-hailing service comes after a council battle that saw a new bylaw passed in May. That bylaw, which dictates a new licensing regime that incorporates companies like Uber, came into force July 15.

The city will now screen UberX drivers, who use their personal cars to move passengers at fares cheaper than those of regular taxis, and provide them with a separate private transportation company driver licence.

“We came to raise our concerns that the new bylaw vehicle for hire should be enforced, made May 3 and supposed to be July 15 on the effected date,” said president of the United Taxi Workers Association Paul Sekhon.

“July 15 came and went and its August 17 now and nothing has happened yet.”

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Taxi app rival Didi Chuxing to buy Uber’s China business in $35 billion deal

Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing is to acquire Uber's China business, the companies announced on Monday, in a deal, according to a person familiar with the matter, that would value the combined company at $35 billion.

Uber global will receive 5.89 percent in the combined company with "preferred equity interest" which is equal to a 17.7 percent stake. Baidu and Uber's other Chinese shareholders will receive a 2.3 percent stake in Didi Chuxing, taking the stake in combined company to 20 percent.

The $35 billion is made up of Didi's latest $28 billion valuation and $7 billion value for Uber China. Uber declined to comment on the valuation when contacted by CNBC.

An official statement from Didi said that the start-up's founder and, Chairman Cheng Wei, will join the board of Uber. Travis Kalanick, Uber Chief Executive, will join the board of Didi.

Uber has been locked in an intense battle in China with Didi, the country's largest ride-hailing service. The U.S. start-up has lost $2 billion over two years in China, the source said, as it tried to get ahead in the market.

Chinese news outlets and social media sites were circulating a blog post believed to be written by Kalanick in which he acknowledged that both Uber and Didi have been spending billions of dollars in China but neither have been profitable.

"Getting to profitability is the only way to build a sustainable business that can best serve Chinese riders, drivers and cities over the long term," Kalanick said.

"I have no doubt that Uber China and Did Chuxing will be stronger together," Kalanick said in the post, according to Chinese reports. CNBC was unable to confirm the veracity of the blog post.

The story was first reported by Bloomberg.

Last week China laid out new rules that legalized ride-hailing apps, a move welcomed by both Didi and Uber.

DidiChuxing, which in Chinese literally translates to "honk honk, commute," was previously known as Didi Kuaidi, after being created in early 2015 from the merger of China's two largest ride-hailing apps at the time, Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache.

It recently closed a financing round worth $7.3 billion, of which Apple was an investor.

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Disrupting Uber

Driver-owned apps could end Uber’s exploitative reign over the ride-share market.

by

7/31/16

Yet again, an investigative report has found that Uber underpays its drivers. Using company-provided data and leaked documents, Buzzfeed found that drivers in Detroit, Houston, and Denver “earned less than an average of $13.25 an hour after expenses” and faced yearly expenses of roughly $3,000.

This doesn’t mean drivers are better off working for a traditional taxi company. While Uber’s burdensome cost-shifting has come to define Uberization, the company merely digitized the taxicab industry’s already exploitative practices. The taxi medallion system, which requires drivers to pay their cab’s medallion owner at the start of each shift, deserved to be “disrupted.” But Uber’s employees face serious costs and risks nonetheless.

The possibilities don’t have to be so restricted however. Ride-share drivers usually already own their vehicles, so in theory they could enter the ride-share marketplace themselves. By ditching Uber’s predatory practices for a cooperative model that uses the same technology, driver-owned apps could democratize the ride-sharing marketplace, fulfilling the initial promise of the so-called sharing economy.

A co-op app would also avoid the pitfalls of other worker-owned taxi cooperatives like San Francisco’s Yellow Cab Co-Op, which filed for bankruptcy in January. Yellow Cab relied on the older ride-hailing model; if new co-ops employed a ride-sharing model — like the one industry giants Uber and Lyft use — they could compete in the same marketplace and potentially out-disrupt the Silicon Valley darlings.

The Bottom Line

Uber’s platform technology may have forever changed the way people catch a ride, but it’s really the company’s adept regulation-dodging and cost-shifting that made it the profitable behemoth it is today. That, and the fact that it hasn’t shared its success with its drivers.

Uber emphasizes its positive impact on the lives of part-time workers who treat driving as a side gig, but the company depends on its full-time “partners” to transport a majority of riders. Less than 30 percent of Uber’s contractors work more than thirty hours a week.

But according to a survey by Harry Campbell — a driver who blogs as the “Rideshare Guy” — these full-time workers drive about half the total road hours across Uber’s platform. His blog has also reportedthat due to rate cuts, Uber drivers today drive nearly twice as many hours to earn the same amount in fares in 2013.

The drivers who don’t completely depend on their work with Uber to pay their bills — a group that makes up about half of the company’s workforce — depress full-time workers’ wages. Because they have less skin in the game, they aren’t motivated to demand better pay and benefits.

Full-time drivers have already joined forces to demand better conditions. In February, hundreds gathered in front of the company’s New York headquarters and shut off their apps in protest of a 15 percent price cut, the latest in a series of corporate decisions that have harmed drivers’ bottom lines. The Uber Drivers Network — which has been attempting to represent drivers in New York since 2014 — coordinated the action. The New York Post spoke to a protesting driver who told the paper he works sixteen hours a day, adding that the week before “[he] worked nineteen hours in one day, and I slept in the car at JFK.”

Farroukh Khamdamov, one of the group’s organizers, originally joined Uber to schedule work around his classes, but eventually had to take on additional hours to compensate for unexpected rate cuts like the one in February. Uber claims these cuts increase demand and therefore decrease driver wait times.

But, as Khamdamov points out, most drivers can only accept so many rides within a given time frame, so the price cut doesn’t benefit them at all. Having joined the company anticipating flexibility and independence, these drivers become more disenchanted each time Uber asserts its control by lowering their wages.

Members of the group have collaboratively developed an app called “Swift,” which would be entirely driver-owned. Khamdamov thinks that drivers — as Uber’s service providers and car owners — can leverage labor and capital against the company because after all “without the drivers, it’s just an app on your phone.” As a cooperative Swift hopes to create employee equity, increased job stability, and shared governance — enabling drivers to dictate the value of the service they provide.

The app’s launch date has yet to be announced, but drivers interested in driving full-time can already sign up. And while Swift has not detailed exactly how it will recruit and hire drivers, several modelsexist.

In the last ten years, taxi drivers have partnered with unions like the Teamsters and the Communications Workers of America in Seattle and Denver, respectively. Union Cab in Madison, Wisconsin — in operation since 1979 — has even managed to become the city’s market leader. Wages and benefits provided by Union Cab “exceed industry norms and still allow the company to make a profit. Veteran drivers’ annual income can exceed $40,000 (about 35 percent higher than the national average) and they receive health insurance, a rarity for taxi drivers.”

Combining these models with ride-share apps would help co-ops to survive in the new marketplace.

Two Ways Forward

Competing with Uber might seem intimidating, but in many respects the company is a paper tiger. Its massive valuation, which stood at $62.5 billion in January, comes from intellectual property — its brand and data — rather than from tangible assets. While consumers recognize Uber’s powerful branding, the company isn’t offering an exclusive product, nor does it own many liquid assets or means of production.

The company does, however, regularly invest in maintaining its exploitative business model. Uber registered as a “technology company,” and has successfully defeated attempts to re-classify it as a traditional transportation company. Recently in Los Angeles, it paid nearly $100 million to settle a class-action suit with about 385,000 of the city’s drivers. If the company had lost the suit, it might have had to treat these drivers as regular employees, potentially costing them billions in wages and benefits.

For Uber, offering a comparatively small settlement to individual drivers is an easy choice. Drivers and unions who can’t afford a lengthy court battle will take whatever concessions they can get through a settlement. (Workers can now solicit tips via a sign placed in their car’s back seat!)

But its exploitative business model has costs, particularly for drivers. According to Uber’s public numbers, the company hemorrhages half its drivers every year. Uber drivers seem to share the same experience of working for the company: they enjoy a brief honeymoon period, then soon endure what Campbell calls “pain points” — successive irritations like regular commission hikes or dealing with the company’s intractable customer service operation. Some drivers adapt by learning the kinds of work-arounds highlighted by blogs like Campbell’s, but most eventually quit.

Uber’s attrition creates a huge pool of frustrated but experienced drivers who could compete against the company in cooperatives. After comparing the company’s growth rate to the size of its driver force, Campbell calculated that Uber needs to hire almost sixty thousand new drivers a month to make up the difference. Cooperatives wouldn’t need to bear the expensive costs of driver recruitment — one obvious advantage of having stable employees.

Moreover, the creation of an open-source ride-share app would allow disgruntled drivers in any city to form local co-ops, a scenario that sociology professor Gerald Davis argues would not just disrupt but potentially devastate Uber. In his new book, The Vanishing American Corporation, Davis describes two paths forward, one where evaporating corporations and corporate responsibility continue to increase inequality and another where grassroots groups use technology to build their own infrastructure.

By employing experienced full-time drivers vested in the quality of their service, co-ops could easily outshine Uber’s part-time workforce. “Co-ops can compete by attracting the best drivers and by promoting a higher level of service than gig employees can give.” Regulations could play an important role, and given regular incidents involving dangerous Uber drivers, “government requirements for suitably vetted drivers (like in Germany) might tilt toward co-ops over Uber.”

Davis points out that to compete with Uber, cooperatives must consider whether “people have room for one more app on their phone.” One way to counteract infighting between driver-owned companies would be to “make the software open-source, so that upgrades can be contributed on the fly.”

Giving Drivers a Say

Consumers are generally happy with Uber and the company’s special status, so there’s little demand-side pressure to treat its employees better. However, Davis says, “co-ops may be less prone to attracting local resistance, and also more likely to generate loyal employees and, perhaps, riders.”

While 60 percent of frequent ride-sharing app users believe thatservices like Uber should not be subject to the same regulations as traditional taxi companies, they might be willing to switch to a co-op model that offers a cheaper price and solid service. Forthcoming apps like Swift will test this theory.

Uber attracted drivers with flexible hours and the promise of “being your own boss.” Ownership stakes in cooperatives could actually provide drivers with this autonomy.

By turning to co-op apps, drivers can retain the flexibility of working under a model like Uber’s while also having a say in their own wages and conditions. As software becomes more broadly available and drivers realize the low cost and high potential of organizing a co-op, Uber may find itself the victim of disruption.

 

NSW government offering AU$20,000 compensation grants to taxi drivers thanks to Uber

Selected taxi licence holders who have lost business in the state due to ridesharing services such as Uber will be able to apply for a grants worth AU$20,000 per licence.

By | | Topic: E-Commerce

The NSW government is making select NSW taxi licence holders who have lost business due to Uber and other ridesharing services eligible for AU$20,000 compensation grants.

The AU$250 million industry transition package will allow the drivers to apply for up-front payments for up to two licences,AU$100 million of which will be paid for by a AU$1 levy on all taxi and ridesharing trips, meaning that NSW ridesharing and taxi users will have to collectively contribute AU$100 million to pay for the scheme. AU$142 million has also been set aside for hardship claims.

According to the Transport NSW website, eligible drivers' licences must include a condition that it may be transferred, and drivers have to have held their licence prior to July 1, 2016. Applications for the payments are currently open until January 13, 2017.

The AU$1 levy to compensate taxi drivers for the legislation was passed last month, with Transport Minister Andrew Constance describing the package at the time as one of the most generous in the world for taxi licence holders.

"Nowhere else in the world have we seen such a generous compensation package to assist industry adjustment when it comes to the taxi industry; nowhere else in the world have we made available the capacity for the transport economy to evolve like we're going to see," Constance told reporters last month.

Uber general manager countered this by saying he wanted more of a transparency in the industry in how compensation was determined.

"If consumers are going to be asked to reach into their pockets and pay an extra levy to fund any hardship in the taxi industry I do hope that there is some transparency over that hardship," he said.

Uber's services were officially made legal in NSW by the state government back in December last year, with a new regular and commissioner put in place to oversee the industry. A transition period was also put in place for a number of months for ridesharing drivers to obtain the correct accreditation to drive legally on NSW roads.

Constance had stressed at the time that under the new model, taxis would enjoy exclusive access to rank and hail jobs.

ACT was the first Australian state or territory to legalise ridesharing last October. This included the same regulatory conditions that are enforced for taxi drivers, such as driver history checks and vehicle safety checks.

Uber was then deemed legal in Western Australia under major taxi industry reform in December, with the proviso that drivers had to obtain special "omnibus" licences in addition to their standard driving licences; while a decision passed by a Victorian County Court judge in favour of a Melbourne Uber driver effectively gave service the green light to operate in Victoria in May.

While South Australia followed suit at the start of this month, Uber is still battling the Queensland government to become legal in the state. The Queensland government last month passed new legislation to crack down on Uber drivers, which included increased fines and more powers for traffic enforcement officers.

The Northern Territory government is still refusing to allow Uber to operate.

With AAP

Correction 3:02pm AEST July 18, 2016: Eligible taxi drivers amended to selected taxi licence holders; application dates and conditions added.

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Taxis get into the ride-share game with new app

Passengers can now join a priority line at LaGuardia and JFK airport taxi stands and split the fare with someone going in the same direction

By

July 20, 2016

The taxi industry now has an answer to UberPool and LyftLine: an app that matches up riders for trips at reduced fares in yellow cabs from LaGuardia and JFK airports.

By the end of the year the service will be available anywhere in the city, via the Bandwagon app or a tab on Arro and Curb apps, which work with all cabs in the city. Destination match-ups will more easily be made during periods of high demand.

The airport service—a joint venture between Brooklyn-based startup Bandwagon and taxi owner-backed CMT Group, which operates Arro—was announced Wednesday. CMT manages the payment systems and backseat TVs in about 8,000 cabs, 6,700 of which are yellow cabs, or half the city's fleet. Bandwagon's integration with rival payment-service provider Verifone—operator of Curb—is in the works.

The airport service, which has been developed in cooperation with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, requires riders to go through several steps, including inputting the cab's medallion number. But the users are offered two enticements in return: They get a cheaper ride than passengers going solo and they can skip ahead to the taxi stand's priority line.

Bandwagon calculates the fares. Each rider pays in proportion to the distance needed to arrive at their destination. Although there is a flat $5 fee, the company says fares are typically 25% to 30% less than for a regular ride.

"This is about helping New York City taxis compete with UberPool and Lyft Line and reducing congestion on city streets," said Bandwagon founder and CEO David Mahfouda.

So far, the service is available only at selected terminals at the two airports and during peak use periods: Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday evenings, from 5 o'clock until midnight.

Customers lined up at the taxi stand text their destination to a Bandwagon number. If a match comes up, they move to the priority line, and a Bandwagon agent swipes their credit cards.

The company, which is based in NYU's Urban Future Lab, has been piloting the service since September. Even without a taxi payment integration it has facilitated 10,000 rides, according to Mahfouda.

The service is attractive to drivers, since they'll make more money on the extended trips.

"This is something we have to do," said Michael Epley, product manager for Arro. "I'm sure a chunk of people will say it's not for them. And others will be totally comfortable splitting a ride with a stranger."

Private Vehicles for Hire – Ridesharing: Fleet Insurance Policy (Intact/Uber), Approval of an Electronic Insurance Card for Ridesharing, and Amendments to the Definition of “Fleet”

To the attention of all insurance companies licensed to transact automobile insurance in Ontario and to other interested persons

 

The purpose of this bulletin is to communicate a number of important changes related to the insurance of automobiles used in the sharing economy in Ontario, such as private vehicles for hire (commonly referred to as ridesharing services) that use an online-enabled application or system. These changes are relevant to the public, including participants and users of rideshare services that utilize the Uber online network, as well as to insurers, municipal authorities, transportation network companies and other interested stakeholders. These changes include:

 

Interim Approval of Intact Auto Policy Endorsement forms

  1. On July 6, 2016, pursuant to my authority under section 227 of the Insurance Act, I approved a fleet automobile insurance policy proposed by Intact Insurance Company (the “Intact policy”).
The Intact policy provides blanket fleet coverage under a standard automobile owner’s policy (OAP 1) for private passenger automobiles used in the transportation of paying passengers who utilize an online-enabled system known as “Uber Services” operated by Rasier Operations B.V. (Rasier). Rasier is a transportation network company that contracts with individual “rideshare drivers” who use their own automobiles for hire. It enables passengers to obtain and pay for on-demand transportation using the Uber online-enabled application.
 
By way of customized endorsements and forms that I have approved, the Intact blanket fleet policy removes the general exclusion against carrying paying passengers found in the OAP 1.
 
The approved Intact policy addresses a critical insurance gap for ridesharing services. This gap in coverage has previously been identified and publicized by FSCO as well as the insurance industry and other stakeholders. Given the importance of ridesharing to stakeholders, I have decided to issue this bulletin about my approval of the Intact policy forms and related matters. Information about the Intact policy is provided below.

Electronic Insurance Card for Ridesharing

  1. I am also approving with this bulletin the use of an electronic insurance card for use in connection with ridesharing, pursuant to my authority under sections 1 and 16 of the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act. The electronic insurance card will permit rideshare drivers who are covered under the Intact policy the option to provide evidence of insurance electronically using an online-enabled application (e.g., to law enforcement officials). Information about the approved electronic insurance card is provided below.

Change to the Definition of “Fleet”

  1. The Ontario government recently approved changes expanding the definition of the term “fleet” as defined under Ontario Regulation 664 under the Insurance Act. The regulation change will make it easier for Ontario businesses to insure a group of privately owned automobiles under one insurance policy as a “fleet” when they are available for hire through a common online-enabled application or system for the pre-arrangement of transportation. Information about the new fleet definition is provided below.

Going forward, I want to emphasize that the sharing economy in general, and the automobile insurance implications in particular, will continue to evolve and will require innovative solutions and responses by all stakeholders, including FSCO, that respond to technological advances. I anticipate new insurance products will be developed and filed for my approval in the future that build upon the approach I have adopted in approving the Intact policy endorsement forms.

At the same time, I want to emphasize that approved solutions may also need to evolve and adapt as circumstances and legal requirements change. Therefore, any policy form or endorsement that I approve is also subject to ongoing review. I may require modifications or changes to be made, and may revoke my approval, if and when I consider it to be in the public interest to do so.

Background

 

The 2016 Ontario Budget noted that “there continues to be a significant insurance coverage gap for thousands of Ontarians driving and using ride-sharing services every day.”1 The Budget also stressed “the protection of these Ontario drivers and consumers is a critical government public policy objective and FSCO is aware of the importance to the government of achieving this objective as quickly as possible.”2 To achieve this objective, the Budget identified the need for flexible responses, including the possibility of interim regulatory approvals, as a means of addressing some of the current insurance issues. The Budget also recognized that legislative and regulatory changes are necessary to fully integrate the sharing economy into Ontario’s automobile insurance system.

In early February 2016, following my approval of its proposal, Aviva Canada announced the launch of the “Permission to Carry Paying Passengers for a Transportation Network” endorsement to the OAP 1. The Aviva endorsement permits automobiles insured by Aviva to be used for ridesharing activities, subject to certain conditions and limitations. The endorsement is limited to Aviva policyholders who elect to purchase it. Since no other insurers filed similar endorsement forms for approval, the Aviva endorsement, while a positive step, was not sufficient to fully address the significant insurance coverage gap referred to in the Ontario Budget.

Some municipalities, such as the City of Toronto and the City of Ottawa, have now established or are in the process of establishing by-laws that govern the insurance requirements for “private transportation companies” and their drivers.

A number of insurers affiliated with Intact have also filed changes to their underwriting rules to permit ridesharing. We anticipate that other insurers will do the same, going forward.

The approval of this interim insurance product filed by Intact for Rasier and the rideshare vehicle owners and drivers who use the Uber application, meets the flexible direction set out in the Ontario Budget to extend coverage and provide protection to a broader group of affected Ontario drivers and passengers.

An overview of the key features is set out below.3

 

Interim Insurance Product – Intact Insurance

The Intact policy is an OAP 1 issued to Rasier that includes a non-standard “Coverage for Ridesharing Endorsement” that I have approved that removes the exclusion against carrying paying passengers and establishes the coverage terms and limits. It also includes a non-standard version of the OPCF 21B endorsement form (Blanket Fleet Coverage for Ontario Licensed Automobiles) called the IPCF 21B (Blanket Fleet Coverage for Ontario Ridesharing Endorsement).

Rideshare drivers and rideshare vehicle owners (including lessees if the vehicle is leased), defined in the Certificate of Automobile Insurance, are named insured persons under the policy.

This interim policy, as approved, will be reviewed periodically to ensure it continues to meet the needs of consumers and rideshare participants.

Coverage when Driver Not Logged On

The Intact fleet policy does not provide coverage when the driver is not logged onto the Uber online application, as described below. Coverage under the personal owner’s policy for the automobile is applicable.

Pre-Acceptance Period

Primary insurance coverage is provided during the pre-acceptance period (i.e., from the moment a rideshare driver has logged onto the Uber online-enabled application and is available to receive requests for passengers and before a request has been accepted).

During this pre-acceptance period the Intact policy provides primary insurance coverage including: statutory accident benefits; uninsured motorist coverage; third party liability coverage with limits of $1 million; Family Protection Coverage (OPCF 44R) with limits of $1 million, and collision and comprehensive coverages with a $1,000 deductible. Collision and comprehensive coverages under the Intact policy are conditional upon the rideshare vehicle owner having these coverages on the underlying personal owner’s policy for the vehicle used by the rideshare driver.

Post-Acceptance Period

Coverage is provided for an automobile operated by a rideshare driver in the “post-acceptance period” (i.e., from the moment a rideshare driver has accepted a request through the Uber online-enabled application, including the period when the automobile is en route to pick up a ridesharing passenger).

Coverage is also provided during the period when the automobile is carrying a ridesharing passenger, including the dropping off of a passenger, and ending when the last passenger departs from the automobile, the trip is ended or cancelled, whichever is later.

 

During this post-acceptance period the Intact policy provides primary insurance coverage that includes: statutory accident benefits; uninsured motorist coverage; third party liability coverage with limits of $2 million; Family Protection Coverage (OPCF 44R) with limits of $2 million, and collision and comprehensive coverages with a $1,000 deductible. Collision and comprehensive coverages under the Intact policy are conditional upon the rideshare vehicle owner having these coverages on the underlying personal owner’s policy for the vehicle used by the rideshare driver.

Priority of Payments for Accident Benefits

For the purpose of determining liability to pay statutory accident benefits under section 268 of the Insurance Act, the Intact policy provides primary coverage and will respond to a claim for statutory accident benefits by a rideshare driver in priority to any other policy in respect of which the rideshare driver is an insured or a named insured.

For passengers, pedestrians or other persons involved in accident with a rideshare vehicle, the applicable rules governing the liability of an insurer to pay statutory accident benefits are set out in section 268 of the Insurance Act.

Sharing of Information and Duty of Cooperation

Intact will take all reasonable measures to have Rasier/Uber facilitate the exchange of relevant information with any party that is directly involved in a claims situation. This information will include the precise time that a rideshare driver logged on and off the digital network in the twelve hours prior to and after an accident. Further information on this information sharing process will be made available by Intact.

Disputes Between Insurers about Statutory Accident Benefits

Any disputes that may emerge between insurers over which insurer is liable to pay statutory accident benefits to a claimant can be addressed through the process set out under Ontario Regulation 283/95 (Disputes between Insurers) under the Insurance Act. Any conduct by insurers that is contrary to Ontario Regulation 283/95 will be subject to appropriate enforcement or regulatory action in accordance with section 439 of the Insurance Act and Ontario Regulation 7/00 (Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices).

Leased or Rented Vehicles

For the purpose of determining the order in which third party liability provisions of any policies are to respond where a rideshare automobile is leased or rented, it should be noted that rideshare vehicle owners and drivers who are lessees or renters of automobiles are named insured persons under the Intact policy. The Intact policy therefore responds prior to any other motor vehicle liability policy under which the owner/lessor of the rideshare automobile is entitled to indemnity as an insured named in the contract, in accordance with paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of section 277(1.1) of the Insurance Act (Order in which policies are to respond).

Note: rideshare drivers who provide ridesharing services using a leased vehicle should consult the lessor to ensure they are not in violation of the terms of the lease. Nothing in my approval of the Intact policy should be interpreted as overriding any terms or limitations contained in lease agreements.

Approval of Electronic Insurance Card

The Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act (CAIA) requires insurers to issue an insurance card to persons to whom a contract of automobile insurance is made, and requires operators of a motor vehicle to carry an insurance card that can be used for reasonable inspection upon the demand of a police officer. The forms approved to date as insurance cards in Ontario include the Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Card (i.e., the pink slip), and the Certificate of Automobile Insurance.

 

Although rideshare drivers using the Uber services will be carrying the pink Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Card from their own personal automobile insurer, with this bulletin I have approved an electronic insurance card that provides evidence of Intact’s insurance policy coverage.

 

The approved electronic insurance card is attached to this bulletin and includes the following information: name of insured; name and address of the insurance company; agent or broker; insurer phone number; policy number; effective date; date of expiry; licence plate number, and insured vehicle year, make and model. The approved electronic insurance card will also have a link to the Intact Certificate of Automobile Insurance (also approved by me) with all details of the coverage by Intact.

This new electronic insurance card has been approved under sections 1 and 16 (2) of the CAIA.

On the issue of whether electronic insurance cards may be approved in the future for use more broadly in Ontario, I would note that the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR) has recently released its “Electronic Proof of Automobile Insurance Issues Paper” for public consultation. The paper sets out the findings and recommendations on coordinating efforts to operationalize the electronic proof of automobile insurance in Canada. Further information on this paper can be found on the CCIR website (www.ccir-ccrra.org [New Window]).

 

Fleet Definition Change

To facilitate the insuring of groups of automobiles as a fleet, the Ontario Government has recently approved changes to the definition of the term “fleet” under section 1 of Ontario Regulation 664 under the Insurance Act.

A fleet must include a group of at least five automobiles that are commercial vehicles, public vehicles or vehicles used for business purposes. Contracts of automobile insurance that insure a fleet are exempt from sections 410 to 417 of the Insurance Act (approval of risk classification systems and rates).

The regulation change allows a group of automobiles available for hire through a common on-lined enabled application or system for the pre-arrangement of transportation to qualify as a fleet, even if the automobiles are not under common ownership or management. An automobile owner, or lessee as the case may be, must have coverage as an insured named in the contract insuring the fleet.

This change became effective upon filing of the amending regulation. The filed regulation making this amendment is O. Reg 252/16 and is expected to be published in a future edition of The Ontario Gazette. The Insurance Act and regulations can be downloaded from the e-laws website atwww.e‑laws.gov.on.ca [New Window].

 

Consumer Advisory

Participation in ridesharing services may impact a personal automobile insurance policyholder’s coverage due to provisions under the Ontario Automobile Policy (OAP 1).

Persons who are considering participating in ridesharing or private vehicles for hire are strongly advised to inform their insurance agent or broker of their own personal automobile insurance carrier of their intent to provide these services.

Consumers participating in ridesharing services should also be aware that the coverage, limits and deductibles provided under the Intact policy may differ from the coverage on their own automobile insurance policy.

Consumers with leased vehicles or car loans participating in ridesharing or peer-to-peer rental of their vehicles should also review the terms and conditions of their leases and loans prior to participating in ridesharing arrangements to ensure they comply with their lease or loan requirements.

As a condition of this approval, Intact and/or Rasier have undertaken to provide rideshare drivers with a clear explanation of the insurance coverage available under the Intact policy and the process for submitting insurance claims when an accident or damage occurs.

Applicability to Other Ridesharing Arrangements

FSCO will work with any insurance company that expresses interest in developing new insurance products for ridesharing arrangements. The framework outlined in this bulletin may be used by other insurers that are considering insurance coverage for other forms of ridesharing or private vehicle for hire enterprises. Insurers may file applications for new proposals with FSCO. FSCO will review those applications in accordance with regulatory requirements.

Insurers are advised to contact their analyst in the Automobile Insurance Services Branch at FSCO to discuss possible insurance arrangements for any other ridesharing arrangements or if they have questions regarding this bulletin.

Brian Mills
Chief Executive Officer and
Superintendent of Financial Services

July 7, 2016

 

Attachment

Image of electronic insurance card

1 2016 Ontario Budget, page 48

2 2016 Ontario Budget, page 48

3 This overview is intended as a summary for reference purposes only.  If there is any inconsistency between this summary and the actual wording of the approved endorsement forms it should be resolved in favour of the wording contained in the forms as approved

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Spike in ex-Uber drivers turning to taxis: Beck Taxi

BY , TORONTO SUN

FIRST POSTED: | UPDATED:

Call them Uber-Ex’s.

After being laid off from his tech job in Calgary, Abdi Jama, 44, came to Toronto looking for work. A friend suggested he should get a job with Uber and after signing up online, he began driving his car for the ride-sharing company in Feb. 2015.

A month into the job, he was shocked that it was a customer — and not Uber — who informed him he wasn’t insured.

“My car has basic insurance so it only covers it for ‘pleasure,’ not the customer,” he said. “I tried to contact Uber, but there’s no number to call. I tried to e-mail but I don’t get any response.”

After some more research, he decided it was too risky, compounded with the low $700 wages he was making for five days’ work. Two months later, he switched over to a taxi company in Vaughan for a year and now he works at Beck Taxi.

Jama, who is working to support his 19-year-old son, said at least a half-dozen of his friends have quit Uber and are now cabbies.

“They can’t afford to pay insurance and the money they made is very small,” he said.

Beck Taxi operations manager Kristine Hubbard said the company has noticed a spike in walk-ins from ex-UberX drivers who have obtained municipal taxicab drivers’ licenses wanting to drive with Beck.

“The word ‘stressful’ comes up a lot in our conversations with new drivers who have come over to us from UberX,” she said. “Stress-wise, money-wise and support-wise they feel like they are part of a team now here at Beck.”

Uber Canada, for its part, says drivers leaving their company is “not a trend we are familiar with,” according to company spokesman Susie Heath.

She pointed out that since Sept. 2014, “tens of thousands of men and women in over 40 municipalities across the province have partnered with Uber to earn an income around their family schedules.”

Health said they are expecting those numbers to rise.

“While there has always been insurance covering every ride, the province recently approved a new product designed specifically for ride-sharing, which is provided by Intact Insurance and has been purchased by Uber – every Uber ridesharing trip in Ontario is now automatically covered under the commercial policy,” said Heath.

Earlier this week, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario says the “blanket fleet coverage” addresses a “critical insurance gap” for the industry.

Toronto will be officially Uber-friendly this week, when new municipal regulations governing ride-sharing fleets come into effect on July 15.

They include a requirement for all UberX drivers to be screened by the city and to carry proof of $2-million insurance coverage in liability and other documents before they’re approved for this new class of licence. Their cars must be newer than 10 years old.

There’s also an added $15 per-driver fee each year and a one time $20,000 application fee for any ride-sharing company. All vehicles – Uber or taxis – have to be regularly inspected at a city-run shop.

“The City of Toronto will be prepared to receive applications and license companies (such as Uber) as Private Transportation Companies and their drivers as PTC drivers beginning July 15,” said Tracey Cook, executive director of Municipal, Licensing and Standards.

“As with many licensing applications, the issuance of a licence is not necessarily immediate. There is a processing time involved.”

Cook said the city continues to work with Uber to meet the new Vehicle for Hire Bylaw, approved by city council in May, and to begin the licensing process as soon as those requirements are met.

“It is preemptive to comment on what, if any, enforcement measures would be taken,” she said. “Enforcement decisions are dependant on circumstances as they arise.”

Still, Municipal, Licensing and Standards spokesman Tammy Robbinson said it won’t withdraw the 2,000 charges it laid months prior when UberX was operating illegally. To date, there haven’t been any convictions.

  • With files by the Canadian Press

Toronto taxi industry should demand compensation from John Tory’s Goverment

Shangox

We believe strongly that John Tory's government owe the Toronto taxi industry a hefty sum of money for the manner in which they have disrupted the industry.

The Toronto taxi industry leaders (minus the iTaxi) should get on and begin immediately to have this conversation; how to compensate the taxi industry. Part of the discussion should include the status of Tracey Cook as the head of Municipal Licensing and Standards.

The only way to get compensation is to ask and the Toronto taxi industry has not demanded to be compensated for John Tory's  arbitrary dismantling  of the industry. The taxi industry should not pretend all is well because it is not.

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Taxi industry decline drives transport minister to revamp assistance package

June 29, 2016, Australia

Mr Dean Nalder

People taking taxis could soon pay a levy to help fund an expanded assistance package for WA's taxi plate owners.

A steep decline in taxi use and a devaluation of licensing plates has led the State Government to overhaul its taxi reform assistance package.

Transport Minister Dean Nalder has ordered his department to develop a plan to impose a levy on cab and charter rides to fund an expanded assistance scheme.

The existing package includes a $20,000 transition payment and a $6 million hardship fund, but Mr Nalder has conceded more help was required.

"It has now been acknowledged by the Government that it may be appropriate to provide further transition assistance for conventional and multipurpose taxi plate owners," Mr Nalder told Parliament.

"To that end I have now asked the department to explore a levy on every charter and taxi trip to fund the additional payment and to also determine how long the levy should be in place."

It was a stark contrast to his optimistic assessment when he faced questions during Budget Estimates hearing just over a month ago.

"What we're saying is that there was a degree of uncertainty in the market, we're providing certainty into the market at this place. We've put funding mechanisms in place to support the industry to get moving. And we believe they are the right measures at this point," he told the hearing on May 24.

Government urged to change scheme

The Government has been under pressure for months from both the taxi industry and the State Opposition to revise its scheme designed to help cab operators successfully shift to a new regulatory regime.

Last week, Mr Nalder was heckled and jeered in Parliament by a gallery of angry cab owners dismayed by the Government's offer of assistance.

Opposition Transport spokeswoman Rita Saffioti said the Government's approach had been wrong from the start.

"There needed to be reform of the taxi industry but there needed to be fair assistance to the taxi plate owners," she said.

Ms Saffioti said with some operators buying plates for $300,000 as recently as 2013, it was clear under the assistance package many would face substantial losses.

"Many taxi plate owners have seen a lot of value driven out of their taxi plates, they're facing significant hardship, loss of homes," she said.

"And we've always said that with deregulation and reform that we need to make sure there's enough assistance, fair assistance to taxi plate owners."

Pressure from ride-sharing services

In Parliament yesterday, Mr Nalder painted grim picture of the heavy toll on taxis from the dual impact of a contracting state economy and increased competition from ride sharing services.

"It is evident that the values of Perth metropolitan plates have declined in the last 12 months reflecting a generally lower demand for taxi trips and a decreasing amount of time a taxi is engaged with a fare paying passenger," Mr Nalder said.

He also indicated pressure on the taxi industry had begun even before the October 2014 arrival of Uber.

Mr Nalder said in 2012 there were 13.2 million taxi trips in Perth which declined slightly to 13.1 million trips in 2013.

In 2014, it dropped to 12.6 million trips, and then declined a further 15 per cent last year, a slump of 1.9 million trips.

Mr Nalder defended the Government's original assistance measures, including reducing taxi numbers by 20 per cent, and said the transition payment and hardship fund were set in light of those numbers.

"It was considered at the time that it was an appropriate reflection of what was happening in the marketplace," he said.

But this year, a price cut by Uber triggered a further cut in taxi trips of 17 per cent.

Despite acknowledging the impact on the industry, Mr Nalder made it clear the revised package would provide assistance, not compensation.

"I wish to reiterate that the Government is not making a compensation payout nor does it plan to buy back plates either compulsorily or on a voluntary basis," he said.

"The taxi sector is a viable and necessary part of the on-demand industry.

The Government is not taking away any right to own a taxi plate or the right to operate a business that is innovative, competitive and resilient."

The first phase of the Government's reforms take effect from July with minor regulatory changes, with the major reforms happening with legislative changes later this year.

Mr Nalder expects the new assistance package to be finalised before then.

Written by Comments Off on Taxi industry decline drives transport minister to revamp assistance package Posted in Shangox Taxi News

South Korea: Uber CEO delays hearing over illegal taxi service charges

by | | @ascorrespondent

Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick. Pic: AP.

UBER CEO Travid Cordell Kalanick’s scheduled court appearance in South Korea has been deferred after legal representatives filed a petition asking for a change of date, citing personal reasons.

The founder of the popular ride-hailing app was due appear at a Seoul court this morning after being charged with operating an unauthorized taxi service one and a half years ago.

A new date for the hearing has yet to be decided, Yonhap reported.

SEE ALSO: Hong Kong police raid Uber office, arrest 5 drivers

In December 2014, South Korea became the first country to indict Kalanick, who is also the company’s co-founder, for violating the Passenger Transport Business Act, as the company’s UberX service, which allows ordinary drivers to transport paying customers, breached the law.

The Seoul city government then filed a series of complaints with prosecutors and was able to successfully charge Kalanick and around 30 other Uber employees for breaking the law. Violators can face imprisonment of up to two years or a fine of 20 million won (US$17,000).

Bowing to local pressure, the company shut down its UberX service in the country. Currently, the only Uber service South Koreans have access to is UberTaxi, which hails licensed taxis.

SEE ALSO: Violence breaks out in Jakarta as taxi drivers protest against Uber, Grab

As Uber, which was launched in South Korea in 2013, struggles with legal barriers, other competitors have stepped in. KakaoTalk, one of the country’s top messaging apps, released its own ride-hailing app, KakaoTaxi.

Since its launch in March last year, KakaoTaxi’s popularity has surged among Koreans, while usage of Uber, as a result of the UberX controversy, has plateaued.

Meanwhile, Uber announced the July 1 launch of its carpooling service, UberPOOL, in Singapore on Wednesday.

The new service allows drivers to improve their efficiency by being able to consolidate trips, reducing “dead time” in between customers, while passengers get to benefit from sharing their ride and splitting the cost of a trip with another Uber rider requesting a ride along a similar route at the same time.

Uber said that rides using UberPOOL are expected to be “25 percent cheaper” than those using UberX.

Written by Comments Off on South Korea: Uber CEO delays hearing over illegal taxi service charges Posted in Shangox Taxi News

Taxi union votes out Amrik Singh as president

'It was kind of expected,' said now-former Unifor Local 1688 leader

CBC News Posted: Jun 23, 2016 5:41 PM ET Last Updated: Jun 23, 2016 8:08 PM ET

Amrik Singh was president of the union representing 1,800 licensed taxi drivers from 2010 to 2016 and for a period in the early 1990s. (Stu Mills/CBC)

The union that represents some 1,800 taxi drivers in Ottawa has a new leader, after voting out Amrik Singh.

Singh will be replaced as the president of Unifor Local 1688 by Pierre Nakhle, according to the results of a vote held Wednesday night.

"It was kind of expected," Singh told CBC News the day after the vote.

During his tenure, Singh led the taxi union through heated negotiations on a number of issues, including the legalization of ride-hailing service Uber in Ottawa.

Singh said he was criticized by some members of the union for not being tough enough during those negotiations.

"People tell me that, because I did not take tough actions, that they wanted change," Singh said.

Singh said he often told members of the union that city hall was listening to their concerns, but they felt betrayed when the report on legalizing Uber came out.

The legalization report did not "sit very well with our people, who were ready to [take] actions like they did in Montreal and other cities," Singh said, referring to taxi protests that snarled traffic in downtown Montreal.

"I kept on telling them, 'No, no, no, the people at city hall are promising they will be fair to us.'"

Singh said he will support whichever direction the new executive decides is best for Ottawa's taxi drivers.

Nakhle declined a request for an interview.

New Toronto Taxi By- Law Information

Read all about the new Toronto taxi by-law here

Uber driver charged following sexual assault of boy in Oshawa: police

An Uber driver has been arrested in connection with an alleged sexual assault of a teenage boy in Oshawa last month.

Durham Regional Police say the alleged victim was picked up by the male driver on Lakeview Parks Blvd on May 29 around 12:10 a.m. when he started a brief conversation and reached over to touch the boy’s genital area.

“When you arrange something like this and you just want to get from point A to point B … this is not something someone would ever consent to,” said Sgt. Bill Calder.
Police say the driver then stopped the vehicle and sexually assaulted the boy, who is under the age of 16. Investigators say the minor reported the incident to police the same day.

Calder added the boy was originally supposed to travel with a companion.

“That other person didn’t continue on with the journey,” he said.

The accused, 29-year-old Ahmad Sohail, turned himself into police on Tuesday and was charged with sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching.

Uber Canada said Wednesday the driver has been suspended and is no longer driving with the ridesharing company. It adds that it is cooperating with police.

In 2015, there were two similar incidents reported to Toronto Police.

In June 2015, a 21-year-old woman was allegedly sexually assaulted after using the Uber app to arrange for a drive from the Wellesley Street and Church Street area.

A few months later in September, another alleged sexual assault happened that involved a 25-year-old woman who entered an Uber vehicle in the Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue area.

“We are always endorsing the idea that whether you are taking a bus or any type of taxi travel, it’s always best to travel in pairs,” Calder said.

“Someone you can call for help in a situation like that.”

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Toronto taxi drivers charged after allegedly switching customers debit cards at payment

Two taxi drivers have been charged in connection with a debit card fraud. (Toronto police handout)

Rachael D'Amore, CTV Toronto
Published Tuesday, June 7, 2016 2:20PM EDT

Two Toronto taxi drivers face have been charged with fraud after their customers’ debit cards were switched with other cards during the payment process.

Police said they launched an investigation into several of these allegations in the fall of 2015.

According to police, as the taxi customer handed their card to the driver to pay the fare, the driver would switch the customer’s card for one that resembled their own.

Police allege the customer’s card was then used by the taxi driver to withdraw funds and purchase retail items.

Police have identified the first suspect as 26-year-old Toronto resident Muhammad Tariq. The man was arrested and charged with three counts of fraud under $5000, three counts of possessing credit card obtained by crime and forgery.

A second suspect identified as 25-year-old Toronto resident Ahmed Dogar was arrested and charged with theft of credit card, six counts of possessing credit card obtained by crime, five counts of fraud under $5000, fraud over $5000 and three counts of forgery.

Both were scheduled to make an appearance in court on Tuesday at 1 p.m.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7239 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).

Written by Comments Off on Toronto taxi drivers charged after allegedly switching customers debit cards at payment Posted in Shangox Taxi News

Toronto Taxi Alliance Public Meeting June 14

Please plan to join members of the Toronto Taxi Alliance for their annual Public Meeting.

Time: Tuesday, June 14, from 6:30 pm to 9 pm.

Location: Woodbine Banquet Hall 30  Vice Regent Blvd. Lots of free parking available.

The Toronto taxi industry needs the Toronto Taxi Alliance for its advancement please be there to support a great cause. Let us work with the TTA to keep the taxi business vibrant and alive.

You will have the opportunity to ask any pressing questions you may have and have knowledgeable people in the taxi business answer them for you. The TTA is arguably the most relevant taxi organization and  the 'live wire' of  the Toronto taxi business.

See you there.

Logo WE WANT YOU! APPLY NOW NOMINATE SOMEONE HOW ARE YOU SMART? TAKE THE TEST NOW

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Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie,is greater than Toronto Mayor John Tory

Toronto taxi drivers appreciate you
Toronto taxi drivers are scared of you
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Mississauga gives Uber one week to shut down

Mississauga council is going to wait one week for Uber to shut down or else it will scrap a proposed pilot program

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, seen in a file photo, said saw a sign of good will in a letter from Uber after her council ordered them to shut down. (BERNARD WEIL / TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO)

Uber and other ride-sharing companies have until this coming Wednesday to shut down operations in Mississauga or else the city will pull the plug on a proposed pilot program to allow such businesses to compete with traditional taxis.

“They responded, which I felt was a sign of progress and a show of good will,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie, after Wednesday’s council meeting, referring to a letter from Uber to the city indicating the company wishes to cooperate.

Last week council banned all ride-sharing companies from operating unless they follow the same rules as traditional taxis, but left the door open with the possibility of new rules to be worked out under the pilot program.

Councillor Carolyn Parrish, who does not want any transportation businesses picking up passengers in the city unless they follow the exact same rules as taxis, said the pilot should be killed.

“I don’t like Uber, I don’t want them.” Parrish said that a motion passed last week stated clearly that all ride-sharing companies were directed to cease operation with the passage of the council resolution, before a pilot were to proceed. Since Uber has failed to do so, and continues to operate, she said Wednesday that plans for the pilot should be scrapped.

Uber Canada spokesperson Susie Heath did not specifically say Wednesday whether the company will pull out of Mississauga by next week. She told the Star, however, that the company already has 100,000 daily riders and 5,000 drivers in Mississauga: “That’s why we are committed to working with Mississauga City Council and staff and have requested an earlier date for recommendations on the framework for a pilot program.”

Heath went on to note that councils in Toronto, Edmonton and Ottawa had already passed “smart regulations that embrace ridesharing.”

Crombie said that the timing laid out in the motion was “nebulous” and Uber needed some time before it could consider shutting down, in order to have a pilot shaped by September.

In the letter to the city, Uber has asked for the September date, when the pilot details would be drafted, to be moved up, but was no more specific about timing.

  1. Parrish indicated she is not happy with the letter. “They said they want to conduct a pilot under the same rules Toronto passed for them.” Parrish said she and Crombie also indicated they would dramatically limit the number of ride-sharing drivers under a pilot, possibly to 50 vehicles.

Uber seeks ‘compromise’ with Quebec government

Ride-hailing company says it wants to stay in province despite new legislation

By Benjamin Shingler, CBC News Posted: May 16, 2016 1:59 PM ET Last Updated: May 16, 2016 4:38 PM ET

Uber says it wants to find a compromise with the Quebec government in the wake of legislation tabled last week aimed at imposing new regulations on ride-hailing services.

Transport Minister Jacques Daoust tabled reforms to provincial taxi laws last Thursday, which, if passed, would force Uber drivers to have a taxi permit and taxi drivers' licence.

"This bill will ultimately shut down our operation in Quebec, but we want to remind people today that we want to collaborate," company spokesman Jean-Christophe de Le Rue told CBC News.

"We want to come out with proposals and solutions and propose ideas for how to modify this law to make sure we can continue to operate, but also so we can create good competition in the industry and make sure all the players can continue and make sure there's an equity in terms of fiscal obligations."

The remarks are the first from the company since the legislation was introduced last week. Uber also released a statement saying it wants to find a "compromise" with the government.

If the bill passes, anyone offering taxi transportation services without holding a permit would face fines of $2,500 to $25,000.

Companies could be fined up to $50,000.

Quebec's taxi drivers, for their part, have been largely supportive of the bill. At a news conference on Sunday, a union representing 4,000 drivers — The Regroupement des travailleurs autonomes Métallos — expressed hope the bill would be adopted quickly.

But they also want the government to drop a provision that would require taxi drivers to adopt the surge-pricing model used by Uber, whereby prices fluctuate with demand.

Uber extends an olive branch

In the past, Uber has threatened to take their popular service out of the province if it judges the bill too strict.

On Monday, the company conceded it can do a better job of working with the province.

"We have heard that we were maybe arrogant at some places and some moments and we want to make sure that that won't happen in the future," de Le Rue said.

"We are here to collaborate, we want to stay in Quebec. It's a great place to do business in terms of the sharing economy our products are super popular but we need to be a good corporate citizen."

The Liberal government has faced heat for the legislation, with critics saying the province needs to be more accommodating to new technology and the so-called "sharing economy."

'Fiscal responsibilities'

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard so far isn't backing down from his government's Uber bill. (Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press)

Daoust has justified the measures by saying they are necessary for the province to tax the revenues of Uber drivers.

As it stands, the majority of Uber drivers in Quebec — about 75 per cent — work less than 20 hours a week and therefore don't make enough to meet the $30,000 threshold required to register and collect tax.

De Le Rue said Uber could be prepared to make some concessions, specifically to make sure sales tax is collected from Uber drivers. The company will offer more details soon, he said.

"We will propose them [concessions] in a few days and hopefully we will be able to go to the parliamentary commission that was announced last week," he said.

In a statement of his own, Daoust said Monday he's looking forward to hearing the specifics and said Uber would be welcome to participate in upcoming hearings on the bill.

Premier Philippe Couillard promised to launch a project on the sharing economy, but suggested the government isn't about to re-draft its Uber bill.

"The sharing economy is many things, both present and future," Couillard said.

"It is also about companies who are good corporate citizens, who behave with equity and justice, and who own up to their fiscal responsibilities."

Other jurisdictions, such as Toronto, have taken a different approach than Quebec, with the city voting to loosen restrictions on UberX, allowing drivers to pick up passengers without a taxi licence.

Calgary, by contrast, introduced rules that led Uber to suspend operations in the city.

with files from Lauren McCallum

Revenu Québec wins case against Uber

Tax authorities carried out 2 search warrants at offices of ride-hailing company in May 2015

By Kalina Laframboise, CBC News Posted: May 11, 2016 7:29 PM ET Last Updated: May 11, 2016 8:26 PM ET

Revenu Québec can officially open and consult the documents it seized from Uber offices after a Quebec Superior Court judge ruled in favour of the tax agency on Wednesday.

The decision comes one day before Quebec's transportation minister is due to announce updated rules for the taxi industry, as well as Uber.

Judge Guy Cournoyer declared that the information provided to the judge who granted the search warrants established that Uber was not respecting fiscal law at both the federal and provincial level.

Investigators from Quebec's revenue ministry searched the Montreal offices of the controversial ride-hailing company Uber in May 2015, alleging that Uber was possibly violating tax law.

The raids were carried out in two separate locations: one in Old Montreal and another in Pointe-St-Charles.

Cournoyer wrote it was reasonable to believe Uber could be breaking the law because the company does not require drivers of its most popular service, UberX, to have a tax number for GST and Quebec sales tax collection.

In the 55-page judgment, Cournoyer writes that Uber drivers offer lifts in exchange for monetary compensation in the same way that the taxi industry does, which requires both "a taxi permit and tax numbers."

"We acknowledge this initial ruling about Revenu Québec's ability to examine the items they seized last year," Uber spokesman Jean-Christophe de Le Rue said in an email.

"As we have stated, Uber would comply to revisions to the law that would amend the $30,000 small supplier exception and require sales tax to be charged on every dollar earned by driver-partners."

With files from Benjamin Shingler, Radio-Canada and la Presse Canadienne

Quebec got it right with Uber

Mayor John Tory during the Toronto city council meeting that voted on new rules for the taxi industry. Michael Peake/Postmedia Network

Shangox

May 13, 2016

Although Uber pretends to be what it is not it is first and foremost  a taxi company. The government of Quebec gets it, and the fact that Jacques Daoust tabled legislation that would create a single legal framework to encompass taxi companies and the popular ride-hailing app alike is a demonstration of that.

Toronto got it wrong because we did not say it loud enough that Uber is a taxi company. This fact was deliberately made obscure from the public to prevent the obvious - classifying Uber as a taxi business. Instead, under the intense pressure from the mayor, Toronto went ahead and created a separate category for Uber called Private Transportation Companies.

We salute the Quebec government for their awareness in spotting impostors and putting them in their place. We believe the rest of the world will take notice of their monumental decision and follow suit.

We take solace knowing that John Tory’s PTC law will be short lived because it is a wrong law, but most importantly unnecessary. The Toronto taxi business has become united because of it and the unity has revitalized the industry.  Our goal remains to provide the best taxicab service to the public so that the taxi business would remain the preferred choice of the public.

PTCs will ultimately fail, just as Mayor John Tory will not be mayor forever.

Quebec government introduces bill to regulate taxi industry and Uber

Photographed at Dundas Square, Toronto, Uber taxi service is a new way to travel around the city. Request and payment are all made using an app. (Bernard Weil/Toronto Star/Getty)

QUEBEC – It’s up to Uber to conform to Quebec laws regulating the taxi industry and not the other way around, the province’s transport minister said Thursday.

Jacques Daoust tabled legislation that would create a single legal framework to encompass taxi companies and the popular ride-hailing app alike.

“The state won’t say: ‘Uber is arriving, therefore we’ll conform to Uber,'” he told a news conference.

“Uber (must) arrive and say: ‘I’m getting into a jurisdiction and I need to conform to that jurisdiction.'”

He said the company would have to conform to Quebec law and pay taxes like anyone else.

“Here, when you get a salary, you pay taxes,” he said. “You will have to adopt that system and I have to be able to identify you.”

The bill would require anyone offering paid passenger transportation to have a taxi permit.

Some exemptions are written in to cover situations such as carpooling.

Uber issued a statement to say it is looking at the proposed legislation.

“We are now diligently studying the bill proposed by minister Daoust and its implications for close to half a million users and for thousands of driver-partners who are counting on Uber’s technology to make ends meet,” Uber Canada spokesman Jean-Christophe de Le Rue said.

“In the coming days we will have detailed comments so we can share with Quebecers the impact of this bill.”

Uber has previously argued that developing a mobile app to allow customers to hail nearby cars makes it a technology company rather than a transportation firm.

The legislation would allow the government to decide how many taxi permits are issued in each region.

The price of a trip could vary depending on a number of factors including the day, time, category of transport or the technology used to order the ride.

Customers would also be able to evaluate the performance of their driver.

Quebec is just the latest Canadian jurisdiction grappling with how to regulate Uber and other technology-based entrants in the transportation field.

Edmonton and Calgary have both passed bylaws aimed at legalizing private vehicles-for-hire, although Uber has temporarily suspended oprations in the both cities after the Alberta government announced it would not make insurance available to drivers until the summer.

The province says it will also require drivers to have at least a Class 4 driver’s licence, which is a commercial licence.

Toronto city council voted earlier this year to give Uber the green light to operate legally in the city, provided drivers purchase $2 million liability insurance and get their cars inspected twice a year.

The taxi industry has protested the ride-hailing service in various Canadian cities, arguing Uber drivers are at an unfair advantage because they are not subject to the same rules.

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Mississauga bans UberX and other ride-sharing services

All non-traditional taxi companies ordered to immediately stop picking up passengers.

In a break from its giant neighbour to the east, Mississauga council has suspended all operation of ride-sharing services such as UberX.

The only way ride-sharing companies can now legally operate in Mississauga is if they effectively follow the same regulations governing traditional taxis, after Wednesday's unanimous vote.

But Mayor Bonnie Crombie left the door open, ever so slightly. In a 10-2 vote, council decided that if Uber and other ride-sharing services suspend operations immediately, a committee will be struck to look at a possible ride-sharing pilot project.

“I think it will make the industry very pleased,” said Crombie, of the compromise, that leaves open the possibility of Uber to operate under different rules in the future.

“We think we have struck the right balance. We've listened very closely.”

But taxi drivers who packed Wednesday's council meeting, flanking former mayor Hazel McCallion, say they are unhappy with the prospect of a pilot program.

“You are becoming like a dictator in the city,” said Harbhajan Pandori to Crombie. Pandori added that McCallion “helped us all the time.”

While McCallion was there with the taxi supporters, she wouldn’t comment on the issue.

The pilot program would be shaped by a committee, but only if Uber and other ride-sharing companies stop operating immediately, until at least the end of September, when rules for the pilot would be ready. It’s unclear if Uber will shut down in Mississauga. Council asked the company to halt operations two months ago, but Uber ignored the request.

“I really caution everybody around the table from getting very cuddly with this baby vampire,” Councillor George Carlson said during Wednesday’s meeting, warning that Uber is unlikely to play by the rules.

Uber’s Canadian spokesperson, Susie Heath, did not commit to following the terms laid out by council. “We are currently reviewing today’s vote in Mississauga,” she said.

Another taxi driver who spoke to council called the idea of surge pricing for traditional taxis, which Crombie has suggested they could use, a “ripoff,” stating that customers would suffer.

Despite concerns voiced by taxi drivers about the pilot program, the man representing many of them says he's happy with council’s decision, unlike the one Toronto made last week that allows ride-sharing companies to operate under a different set of regulations, while loosening rules in Toronto for traditional taxis.

“I think it's a very positive development,” said Marcel Wieder, a spokesperson for the Peel Taxi Alliance. “Council recognizes that a made in Mississauga solution is required.”

Taxi Alliance to speak out on city’s ride-sharing decision

Courtney Greenberg, CTV Toronto
Published Monday, May 9, 2016 1:49PM EDT

The taxi industry says they will be making an announcement Wednesday at city hall about ride-sharing in Toronto.

On May 3, city councilors voted in favour of allowing companies like Uber to operate in the city, with a set of new regulations.

The rules included making snow tires a requirement for taxi and Uber drivers in the winter. The motion also set the new minimum price at $3.25 for Uber X rides.

"We're encouraged to think that there will be clarifying by-laws in place as early as July 15 so that we can focus on customer service and competing in the ground transportation market,” she said in an email.

She said there were parts of the motion the taxi industry supports, like ensuring Uber drivers have to "provide proof of insurance to the city." She said they also support keeping security cameras in taxis.

"There are other elements which we find challenging, but we will find a way to work with the new by-laws," she said.

The announcement will be made at city hall's member's lounge at 10 a.m.

Written by Comments Off on Taxi Alliance to speak out on city’s ride-sharing decision Posted in Shangox Taxi News

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED AT COUNCIL’S UBER DEBATE

Behind the scenes, Mayor Tory radically switched paths

BY

MAY 6, 2016

5:53 PM

Mayor John Tory defends the outcome of Council's epic debate on taxis and Uber.  Jonathan Goldsbie

In the end, it wasn't about Uber. For many councillors — including those who spent years loudly inveighing against the San Francisco tech company — it may never have been about Uber at all.

For others, this realization came too late, toward the end of Tuesday's day-long debate that resulted in the legalization of private "ride-sharing" services and the dismantling of recent taxi-industry reforms. These changes, together, put cab drivers in a place of unprecedented precariousness.

The city's stated aim had been to level the playing field between taxis and Uber, by loosening standards for the former and tightening them for the latter. And while that technically is what Council accomplished, the effect was to drive the industry down to Uber's level.

Council chose, for example, to allow taxi companies to offer discounts on standard rates. But they also voted to allow those companies to force drivers to swallow the difference, which Councillor Shelley Carroll compared to Starbucks having their baristas put $5 in the cash when you redeem a free drink on your birthday. And if you're inclined to say, "Well, it's good for consumers," then you should probably also know that Council voted to allow taxi companies to engage in Uber-like surge pricing for rides booked through an app. (Have fun getting a cab through conventional means when there's more money to be made from an app call.)

So how did Council get here? Like everything to do with the issue, it's a convoluted mess, with a mind-numbing assortment of conflicting and overlapping interests. But breaking it into simple terms:

Well before Uber arrived in Toronto, there was already a war in the city's cab industry. On one side were owners of standard taxi plates, a large portion of whom weren't themselves drivers. Because the city only allowed a finite number of these plates to exist, they accumulated enormous value and turned into commodities that could be bought and sold and even bequeathed in wills. They were business licenses operating at an abstract level — the ownership was essentially arbitrary, and possessing one was permission to profit off the labour of others. It was a perversion of the city's original intentions and a situation that Council spent nearly two decades trying to repair.

On the other side were owner-operators: people who both owned plates and drove. The Ambassador taxi plates, in particular, required their owners to be the exclusive driver.

After years of hard-fought effort, Council voted to overhaul the system in 2014, moving toward a single class of plates. The goal was to gradually shift power from owners to drivers and make the whole setup a bit less exploitative.

Standard plate owners and cab companies were pissed. But when Uber came around, it appeared that the various taxi factions were willing to put aside their differences, at least for a moment, in order to face down a common foe. Kicking out Uber, the illegal interloper, would be the new priority.

Some councillors — namely Jim Karygiannis and Giorgio Mammoliti — built personal brands around screw-Uber chest-thumping. Others worked quietly behind the scenes on new rules to raise the city's standards for drivers and vehicles, hoping to set a reasonable bar that Uber's business model might not be able to meet.

Last month, city staff proposed a new ground transportation bylaw for the whole sector. The idea was to legalize Uber and similar "Private Transportation Companies" (PTCs), putting new rules on them and relaxing others for taxis. But the cab industry and many councillors felt the recommendations were excessively favourable to Uber, would establish a two-tier system, and compromise safety. And beyond that, the report asked to reverse several 2014 reforms, returning power to the hands of plate owners.

Mayor John Tory backed the staff recommendations, but his handpicked chair of the Licensing and Standards Committee, Cesar Palacio, did not. In mid-April, the committee gutted the report, removing all sections that would have legalized Uber — but leaving the parts that undid the 2014 changes. City staff wanted to help plate owners withstand competition from Uber. But the committee wanted to help plate owners and expel Uber. (Some committee members, it might be noted, received substantial contributions from taxi plate owners in the last municipal election.)

Shortly after, the Mayor's Office got in touch with Council's left-wing bloc to hammer out a solution. If the mayor didn't have the support of Palacio and other centre-right councillors, he'd need extra help getting something through on which he could claim victory.

Over the next week or so, the Mayor's Office and the left came up with a compromise package of motions that would have harmonized vehicle and driver rules for taxis and PTCs. According to a draft summary dated May 2 and obtained by NOW, it would have also asked Council to "pass a motion requesting the Mayor to speak to the Premier regarding precarious work in the taxicab industry and potential reforms to the Employment Standards Act to address the issue." More concretely, it also instructed the City to manage the number of PTC vehicles allowed on the road based on a supply-and-demand study of the effect on full-time cab jobs.

But at the very last minute — the evening before the meeting, in the middle of the night, or late in the morning, depending who you talk to — the deal came apart. There's disagreement over how and what triggered this, but it may have been as simple as a series of miscommunications.

The Mayor's staff thought (or perhaps were eager to believe) that the deal with the left was no longer a sure thing; at some point in the 24 hours preceding the meeting, they struck up parallel conversations with Council's right flank. They carried on with both blocs nearly up until the lunch break, at which point they opted to go with a new bundle of motions cobbled together with the right. It may or may not have been the superior bet, but it was certainly closer to the mayor's own ideology and saved the embarrassment of his committee chairs voting against him. It was evidently easier to create a new package that catered to the interests of his usual allies than it would have been to bring them aboard the deal with the left.

"You would understand that the one outcome that I could not come out of this meeting with.…was no result at all," Mayor Tory told reporters the next day. He was worried that Council might have voted to receive (i.e., kill) the item, leaving the status quo in place.

Mayor John Tory defends the massive motion he had just moved at Council. Jonathan Goldsbie

When the mayor introduced his Council motion at 3:44 pm, it was a 20-page behemoth whose hasty provenance was apparent — like a rough draft pasted together on deadline. He was stunningly unfamiliar with its contents and struggled to answer questions during a two-hour grilling on the Council floor.

Not only did the motion legalize Uber, it doubled down on disbanding the 2014 reforms, offering up additional gifts to plate owners. It asked for a report on the feasibility of lowering renewal fees by 75 per cent and "establishing a transition fund for taxicab plate owners [whose] investments have been negatively impacted by new market entrants." It even failed to restore a staff recommendation to accelerate the taxi industry's conversion to accessible vehicles.

Nearly all of it sailed through, with a notable exception being a vaguely cruel clause forcing drivers to work for just one brokerage or platform at a time. (Tory's motion also contained vestiges of his deal with the left, including a watered-down nod to supply management.)

Just as the alliances on Council had shifted, so had the factions in the industry. The fight was no longer plate owners and drivers working in common to defend against Uber. It became, in effect, plate owners and Uber working in common to defend against drivers.

Repeatedly accusing the left of trying to cut a "secret" deal with Tory's office, Mammoliti used the bluster as cover for his own imminent support of the mayor. He and Karygiannis, always so vocal about about their hatred for Uber, ultimately tossed those concerns out the window; sure, they'd love to eject the company from town, but their efforts were first and foremost about protecting interests of plate owners. Given an opportunity to do that, they took it.

The mayor, on the other hand, was proud of the pragmatism that steered him from one stance to its opposite in the course of a few hours.

"I had to make sure that I had the number of votes necessary — as you do on every issue every day around here — to pass something," he said on Wednesday.

That's true enough. But left to his own devices, Tory will typically drift to the right, carried along by his abiding faith that capitalism will work itself out.

Asked by reporters how surge pricing in the taxi industry serves the interests of customers, he explained that "consumer protection rests in the marketplace."

At this point, so too does the well-being of drivers.

jonathang@nowtoronto.com | @goldsbie

The taxi industry is owed billions of dollars as a result of the New Vehicle –for- Hire bylaw.

Unnatural deeds breed unnatural troubles

Edited at 7:48 AM

John Tory, Mayor of Toronto, has executed his master plan, which is to kill the taxi industry. At the moment he is keeping the industry on life support.

His convenient explanation for this pointless action has been consistently to keep up with technology and provide choice to the public,  although, there were several ways of achieving this goal without the creation of Public Transportation Companies, which essentially is another fancy name for  taxis. It is noteworthy that the concept of  PTC is a John Tory  concoction from his heat oppressed mind and has no basis in reality.

It is only a matter of time before the folly of PTC rear its ugly head and Torontoians demand a replacement for John Tory.

One of the glaring omissions in the New Vehicle –for- Hire bylaw is compensation for the taxi industry. It is the most blatant and probably clear evidence of John Tory ‘s contempt for the Toronto taxi industry. He is prepared to allow thousands of PTC on Toronto’s streets in total disregard for congestion and pollution and its effects on the environment, but is not slightly interested in compensating the taxi industry for the billions they have invested and the impact the by-law changes will have on their lives.

We believe the Toronto taxi industry is owed billions of dollars as a result of the New Vehicle –for- Hire bylaw. We believe that John Tory will not do the honourable thing by negotiating an equitable deal with the taxi industry because of his disdain towards us. Hence the good people of the Toronto taxi industry have no choice but prepare to launch a massive lawsuit to redeem what is owed to us as a direct consequence of the arbitrary formation of PTC in Toronto.

If the taxi industry does not forceful demand what is rightly owed to them, the government of John Tory will not offer it.  What is owe to us is literally billions of dollars.

Written by Comments Off on The taxi industry is owed billions of dollars as a result of the New Vehicle –for- Hire bylaw. Posted in Shangox Taxi News

A New Vehicle-for-Hire Bylaw to Regulate Toronto’s Ground Transportation Industry

City Council consideration on May 3, 2016

A New Vehicle-for-Hire Bylaw to Regulate Toronto's Ground Transportation Industry

Committee Recommendations
The Licensing and Standards Committee recommends that:

 

Vehicle-for-Hire Accessibility Strategy

 

1.  City Council endorse the goal of achieving an inclusive and accessible vehicle-for-hire industry that will ensure that all Toronto residents and visitors have equal access to Toronto's vehicle-for-hire industry.

 

2.  City Council waive licence application and renewal fees for accessible taxicab licences (TTL), Wheelchair accessible taxicab owners, and any taxicab owner who has a D409 compliant wheelchair accessible vehicle, effective immediately and retroactive to January 1, 2016.

 

3.  City Council waive training fees for taxicab drivers and owners who want to be trained to drive accessible taxicab vehicles, effective immediately.

 

4.  City Council require that all drivers of accessible vehicle-for-hire services complete a training program that meets the criteria set out by the Executive Director of Municipal Licensing and Standards, including refresher training.

 

5.  City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to report back to the appropriate standing committee on a strategy to collect funds from all non-accessible vehicles-for-hire- to provide incentives to increase the number of on-demand, metered accessible taxicabs available to the public as well as creating a working group composed of stakeholders (such as staff in the Equity, Diversity and Human Rights Office) and accessibility experts and advocates to, amongst other issues, develop a funding program and process that will advance inclusive on-demand ground transportation for all users.
Proposed Changes to Taxicab Regulations

 

Taxicab Fares and Taxicab Brokers:

 

6.  City Council require that taxicabs charge the City-regulated taxicab rate when a customer either street-hails or uses a cabstand to hire a taxicab and direct the Executive Director of Municipal Licensing and Standards to review the rate within the year.

 

7.  City Council permit the use of electronic taximeters that meet security criteria and other standards to be established by the Executive Director of Municipal Licensing and Standards, and remove the current requirement to seal taximeters, effective immediately.
Taxicab Ownership and Licensing:

 

8.  City Council delete the required minimum owner-operator hours for Ambassador taxicab, Toronto Taxicab, and Wheelchair Accessible taxicab owners.

 

9.  City Council delete the requirement that a Toronto Taxicab Licence be issued upon the sale of a Standard or Ambassador taxicab.

 

10.  City Council direct that all Ambassador taxicabs be deemed to be Standard Taxicabs, effective immediately.

 

11.  City Council direct that when a Standard taxicab vehicle is sold, the new purchaser may be issued a Standard taxicab licence, subject to meeting the requirements of a qualified purchaser.

 

12.  City Council remove restrictions that prohibit a person from owning more than one taxicab.

 

13.  City Council remove the provisions that restricts taxicab owners from incorporating.
Taxicab Drivers:

 

14.  City Council replace the existing taxicab and limousine driver licence classes and create a new "Vehicle-for-Hire Driver" licence class to permit licensed drivers to operate either taxicabs or limousines to be issued to all new taxicab or limousine driver applicants and to all existing taxicab or limousine drivers at the time of their licence renewal.

 

15.  City Council direct amendments to the Drivers' Waiting List:
a.  Remove the annual filing requirements for drivers to maintain their place on the Drivers' Waiting List; and
b.  Freeze the Drivers' Waiting List effective May 4, 2016 (for those who are in good standing as at that date).

 

16.  City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to report back once all drivers on the Drivers' Waiting List have been offered the opportunity to obtain a Toronto Taxicab licence with a proposal to address future taxicab licence issuance, as necessary.
Taxicab Vehicles, Inspections, and Insurance:

 

17.  City Council amend taxicab vehicle requirements by permitting Ambassador and Standard taxicabs, effective immediately, to:
a.  be no more than 7 model years old, but be permitted to be licensed at any time within the 7 model years; and
b.  carry a maximum of 7 passengers plus the driver.

18.  City Council direct that the requirements for all taxicab vehicles to attend initial and semi-annual mechanical and fitness inspections at the City inspection centre, and attend all other inspections as necessary, remain.

 

19.  City Council require that any advertising on taxicabs not interfere with or reduce visibility of taxicab identification and remove requirement that advertising on taxicabs be approved by Municipal Licensing and Standards.

 

20.  City Council direct that the existing requirement for taxicab vehicles to carry insurance at $2,000,000 dollars of liability coverage to protect passengers and drivers is retained

 

Taxicab Management:

 

21.  City Council establish a new licensing class for "Taxicab Operators". A Taxicab Operator is an individual or corporation responsible for the management or control of a taxicab vehicle on behalf of the owner. The Taxicab Operator may be listed as a co-owner of the vehicle used as a taxicab on the vehicle registration.

 

22. City Council require that individuals or corporations licensed as a Taxicab Operators must:
a.  rent taxicabs to licensed vehicle-for-hire drivers on a shift basis only;
b.  maintain a list of licensed drivers who are renting taxicabs from the Taxicab Operator and keep records for 12 months;
c.   maintain records that detail date and time of which taxicab was rented by which driver and keep records for 12 months;
d.  ensure that each taxicab:
i.   is free from mechanical defects;
ii.   is properly equipped as per the bylaw;
iii.  has a clean exterior and interior;
iv.  is in good repair as to its exterior and interior;
e.  provide an itemized receipt to drivers for shift rentals, and maintain records of receipts for a minimum of one year;
f.  ensure that place of business complies with zoning and all other applicable bylaws; and
g.  provide records described above to Municipal Licensing and Standards within 5 business days of request.

 

23.  City Council require that any individual or corporation who enters into an agreement assuming responsibility for the management or control of a vehicle operating as a taxicab must hold a Taxicab Operator's Licence.

 

24.  City Council permit a Taxicab Operator to enter into agreements to manage or control more than one taxicab at a time.

 

25.  City Council prohibit more than one Taxicab Operator from managing or having control of a single taxicab vehicle at any one time.

26.  City Council require that a taxicab owner remains responsible for ensuring that the taxicab is maintained and managed in a manner that is compliant with the requirements of the Vehicle-for-Hire Bylaw, even when the owner engages a Taxicab Operator.

 

27.  City Council require that taxicab owners file notice with Municipal Licensing and Standards if they have entered into an agreement with a Taxicab Operator, and ensure that this information remains current by advising Municipal Licensing and Standards in writing within 7 days of any change, in a form approved by the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards.

 

28.  City Council direct that the effective date for implementation of the Taxicab Operator's licence be July 15, 2016, and permit a one year phase-in of the requirements, and that the application requirements for the licence be as prescribed in the general provisions of the bylaw.
Proposed Changes to Limousine Regulations

 

29.  City Council require that all Limousine Owners affiliate with a Limousine Broker.
Limousine Operation:

 

30.  City Council require that all Limousine trips be booked through a Limousine Broker. Limousines are not permitted to solicit rides or respond to street-hails.
Limousine Vehicles, Inspection, and Insurance:

 

31.  City Council direct that all existing requirements for limousine vehicles, not amended, be retained such as:
a.  current insurance requirements for limousines at $2,000,000 of liability coverage to protect passengers and drivers; and
b.  prohibition from having a roof light or any markings that could make the vehicle look like a taxicab.
Increased Penalties for Breaches of Licensing Requirements

 

32.  City Council establish special fines that may apply in addition to the regular fine imposed  for a contravention of the bylaw where it is determined that the conduct could have resulted in economic advantage or gain to the party found to have breached the bylaw.

 

33.  City Council require that the maximum penalty provisions apply to licensees who fail to comply with any provisions related to record retention, record disclosure to Municipal Licensing and Standards, or audits.

 

34.  City Council establish that directors or officers of a corporation knowingly concurring in the contravention of any offence under the bylaw by the corporation are guilty of an offence.
Administrative Recommendations

 

35.  City Council delegate to the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, the authority to issue interpretation bulletins or guidelines on matters relating to the Vehicle-for-Hire bylaw when enacted from time to time, as she or he deems advisable or necessary.

 

36.  City Council authorize the City Solicitor to review and make revisions to the remaining parts of the bylaw to ensure consistency with provisions that are governed by other municipal and provincial legislation.

 

Licensing Fees

 

37.  City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to undertake the work necessary to issue any refunds resulting from the retroactive fee reductions and/or the waiving of existing fees.

 

38.  City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to take efforts to manage expenditures to mitigate the 2016 financial impact associated with the timing of the proposed changes.

 

39.  City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to report through the 2017 budget process on full-year budget impacts of the proposed changes.
Other Recommendations:

 

40. City Council direct that the qualifications for taxicab, limousine and PTC vehicle drivers include a requirement that all drivers licensed by the City of Toronto be 21 years of age or older, hold a valid Ontario driver's license, and have at least one year driving history.

 

41.  City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards continue to regulate the taxicab, limousine and private vehicle-for-hire industry by ensuring that all owners and drivers of taxicabs, limousines and private vehicles-for-hire vehicles for hire that provide transportation services in the City require a licence issued by the City.

 

42.  City Council require that every vehicle used as a taxicab, limousine or private vehicle-for-hire be equipped with four snow tires every year from December 1st to March 15th.

 

43.  City Council require that all taxicab, limousine and private vehicle for hire drivers be able to communicate in English.

 

44.  City Council direct that Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 545, Licensing, be amended to require that, in addition to taxicabs, all limousines and PTC Vehicles have a camera system installed.

 

45.  City Council amend the definition of "CAMERA SYSTEM" set out in Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 545, Licensing, to read as follows:

"A camera system with minimum specifications approved by the Municipal Licensing and Standards Division, capable of recording images of persons in a taxicab, limousine or PTC vehicle, such that access to the images is limited to law enforcement personnel authorized by the Executive Director, the Executive Director, and the vehicle’s registered brokerage, for the purposes of law enforcement, training, or customer service investigations."

 

46.  City Council direct that a $0.10 levy from each taxicab, limousine and PTC vehicle fare be paid to be applied for the development of an Accessibility Fund to be administered by the Municipal Licensing and Standards Division, with the proceeds from such a Fund to be used to provide a grant to licensed taxicab, limousine or PTC vehicle drivers who wish to purchase a wheelchair accessible vehicle.

 

47.  City Council re-establish the Taxi Advisory Committee.

 

48.  City Council request the Ministry of Finance to approve new flexible insurance products for the taxicab industry.

 

49.  City Council request the Province of Ontario to make amendments to the Highway Traffic Act to strengthen enforcement powers and amend penalties in relation to municipal vehicle-for-hire bylaws, including the ability to:
a.  tie outstanding violations to plate denial;
b.  issue higher fines (not less than $500 and no more than $30,000);
c.  apply demerit points for non-compliance; and
d.  impose administrative licence suspensions.

 

50.  City Council direct that all provisions of the new Vehicle-for-Hire bylaw, including the amendments to licensing fees in Chapter 441, will come into effect on July 15, 2016 unless otherwise stated.

 

51.  City Council direct the Executive Director of Municipal Licensing and Standards to report back to the Licensing and Standards Committee within one year from the date of enactment of the new bylaw, with an update on the implementation and outcomes of the bylaw.

Public Notice Given
Confidential Attachment - The receiving of advice or communications that are subject to solicitor-client privilege

Motions (City Council)1a - Motion to Amend Item moved by Mayor John Tory (Amended)

That:

 

SECTION 1 - STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS TO BE ADOPTED, WITH CERTAIN AMENDMENTS

 

1.  City Council adopt the following recommendations contained in the report (March 31, 2016) from the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, with amendments where indicated:
1. City Council direct that the bylaws governing taxicabs and limousines, and the directions arising from this report, be combined to create a Vehicle-for-Hire bylaw that governs taxicabs, limousines and Private Transportation Companies (PTC), based upon the following recommendations.

 

7. City Council mandate that any PTC that has more than 500 vehicles affiliated with or registered to provide transportation services be required to provide wheelchair accessible service to the public, in accordance with the following:

 

a. Accessible PTC services means that wheelchair accessible vehicles are available when requested within wait times that are comparable to non-accessible services and at fares that are the same as basic non-accessible services.

 

b. "Comparable wait times" means that the time elapsed between the passengers request for service and the arrival of a vehicle at the passenger’s location in response to that request for service is no more than the “average industry wait time” for non-accessible services, as determined annually by the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards.

 

c. The PTC will report on accessible service delivery, including information on average wait times of accessible PTC vehicles, in a frequency prescribed and form approved by the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards.

 

10. City Council permit Taxicab Brokerages to offer rates:

 

a.  discounted from City-regulated rates if the passenger books the trip through the Taxicab Brokerage, effective immediately, where:

 

i. the taximeter can display the applicable rate to be charged for that trip;

ii. the broker has set and posted its rates and/or discounts for taxicabs;

iii. the rate charged does not exceed the maximum fare as calculated by the meter at the City-regulated rates; and

 

b.   above the City-regulated rate where the taxicab is booked through a Smartphone enabled Application, and require the Taxicab Brokerage to:

 

i.  clearly and transparently communicate the amount and rate to be charged;

ii.  ensure a record is maintained that the passenger accepted the rate prior to the trip commencing; and

iii. provide a print or electronic receipt to the passenger at the conclusion of every trip. The receipt must include: all rates, fees, and/or surcharges for the trip; total amount paid; date and time of the trip; location at which the passenger was picked up and location to which the passenger was driven; driver name and taxicab number; and total time and distance of trip.

 

11. City Council not require that Taxicab Brokers pay the taxicab driver the difference between the discounted or flat rate and the City-regulated rate, effective immediately.

 

29. City Council delete the requirement that owners and drivers of non-accessible taxicabs complete initial and refresher training programs to obtain a licence, effective immediately.

 

30. City Council delete the requirement that taxicab drivers and owners complete CPR training and First Aid certification as a condition of licensing, effective immediately.

 

40. City Council delete provisions governing lease agreements between taxicab owners and lessees.

 

41. City Council delete provisions regarding designated agents and designated custodians.

 

51. City Council delete the requirement for limousine owners and drivers to complete the initial and refresher training programs as a condition of licensing, effective immediately.

 

52. City Council delete the requirement for limousine owners and drivers to complete CPR training and obtain First Aid certification as a condition of licensing, effective immediately.

 

54. City Council establish a new licensing class "Private Transportation Companies" or "PTCs" that regulate:

 

a. Any person who offers, operates, or facilitates transportation services for compensation using software, an application, or a telecommunications platform (a “Platform”) to communicate with passengers and PTC Drivers;

 

b. Any person facilitating transportation that satisfies the definition of carpooling pursuant to the Public Vehicles Act will not be a PTC; and

 

c. In this definition "person" includes multiple persons who, acting together, carry on the business of a PTC, despite the fact that no single one of those persons carries on the activity in its entirety, and such persons shall be subject to § 545-2A, and may be held jointly and severally responsible for each others' actions.

 

55. Any PTC offering, operating, or facilitating transportation commencing within the City:

 

a. requires a PTC licence; and

 

b. may only permit a ride to be booked through a smartphone application.

 

56. City Council require that, at the time of their application for a PTC Licence, the PTC submit in an electronic format satisfactory to the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, information sufficient to describe or demonstrate:

 

a. the legal relationship between any persons that, acting together, carry on the business of a PTC, if applicable to an applicant;

 

b. that the PTC will have the ability to meet minimum data security and data provisions to Municipal Licensing and Standards as per the business licence requirements;

 

c. that the PTC has appropriate agreements, contracts and/or processes in place to screen the criminal and driving histories of drivers providing transportation to passengers through the PTC’s Platform, and to provide such provisions information to Municipal Licensing and Standards per the licence requirements;

 

d. that the PTC maintains and can produce, as and when required by Municipal Licensing and Standards or law enforcement, all records in accordance with the licence requirements;

 

e. that the PTC maintains and will provide regular daily or weekly updates to the City the records of drivers that have contracted with it to provide services through the PTC’s Platform;

 

f. the PTC’s registered business address in the Province of Ontario; and

 

g. an indemnity in favour of the City of Toronto from and against claims, demands, losses, costs, damages, actions, suits, or proceedings that arise out of or are attributable to the PTC's business and services.

 

57. City Council require that all PTC licences under the Vehicle-for-Hire bylaw be issued subject to a six-month probationary period. During the probationary period, the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, may conduct random audits or investigations to evaluate compliance with the bylaw and suspend or place conditions upon the licence, without a hearing, for up to 14 days at his or her discretion if he or she has reasonable grounds to conclude that the continued operation of the business poses an immediate danger to health or safety of any person or to property.

 

58. City Council require that a PTC licence be renewed annually. At the time of each renewal, the PTC will be required to provide documentation sufficient to satisfy the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards that it has and will continue to meet the PTC licence requirements.

 

59. City Council require that all PTC drivers be required to obtain a licence from the City prior to the PTC driver being made active on the platform.

 

a.  Direct that the PTC file the PTC Driver records with the City, for review and approval, prior to the PTC Driver being made active on the PTC platform;

 

b.  Required documentation includes the current documentation required for taxicabs, including:

 

1. Driver full name
2. Copy of unrestricted G provincial drivers licence
3 .Vehicle registration including licence plate number, make and model of vehicle
4. Criminal background checks
5, Certificate of insurance
6. Vehicle inspection certificate or equivalent
7. Driving record checks
c. Documents can be filed electronically;

 

d. PTC driver documents must be submitted annually for renewal of PTC driver licence; and

 

e. The City will manage the number of PTC vehicles, as necessary, based on the demand study in Section 4, Recommendation C of this motion.

 

60. City Council require that a PTC:

 

a. prior to the collection of any personal information, obtain consent for the collection and potential disclosure of personal information to the City for the purposes permitted by the bylaw from individuals applying or registering as drivers to provide transportation services to passengers within or from the City;

 

b. maintain records of all Criminal Record checks and Driver's Records checksconducted for or provided by for all drivers permitted by the PTC to provide transportation commencing in the City;

 

c. maintain records of completion and renewal proving that driver successfully meets Screening Criteria, as mandated by the City;

 

d. comply with any request for the foregoing information or any request for reports based on the foregoing information that are made by the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards;

 

e. provide the information requested in the format prescribed by the Executive Director within 30 days of the request; and

 

f. be prohibited from imposing a mandatory arbitration clause on individuals accepting or making requests for service commencing in Toronto through the PTC or requiring the law of any jurisdiction other than Ontario the Netherlands to be applied in relation to use of the PTC Platform in Toronto  and, to the extent that clauses contrary to this requirement are included in any PTC agreement with individuals using its services, such clauses are unenforceable.

 

61. City Council require that a PTC maintain business records that include the following information:

 

a. For trips involving one passenger commencing or terminating in the City:

 

i. pick up location and destination (by reference to the intersection);
ii. date/time the trip commenced and terminated; and
iii. length of time elapsing between the passenger’s service request and commencement of the trip.

 

b. For trips involving more than one passenger/fare commenced or terminating within the City:

 

i. total number of passengers paying separate fares;
ii. pick up location(s) and destination(s) (by reference to the intersection) for each trip;
iii. date/times the trip commenced and terminated;
iv. length of time that elapsed between the time the passenger(s) requested service and the trip commenced for each passenger;
v. the fare(s) paid for the trip; and
vi. number of trips involving multiple passengers paying separate fares.

 

c. Where requests made for trips to commence or terminate in the City that were not provided as a result of driver cancellation:

 

i. Pick-up location and destination (by reference to the intersection); and
ii. date/time the trip was requested.

 

d. Average bi-directional PTC traffic volumes by roadway link on an hourly basis.

 

62. City Council require that a PTC maintain and provide driver and vehicle records for all trips commencing in the City, including:

 

a. driver name;

 

b. vehicle licence plate number;

 

c. type of service;

 

d. total hours/minutes the driver was available to provide transportation services through the Platform for requested time period;

 

e. data reflecting the following periods:

 

i. Period 1: time period beginning when a PTC Driver has logged onto a PTC Platform and indicated that they are available to receive or agree to passenger trip requests;
ii. Period 2: time period beginning when a PTC trip is arranged and concluding when a PTC Driver has arrived at a location to pick up a passenger; and
iii. Period 3: time period beginning when a PTC Driver picks up a passenger(s) and concluding when the passenger(s) has arrived at their destination(s).

 

63. City Council require the PTC to submit to audits of their records as requested by the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards.

 

64. City Council require that where information is needed for law enforcement purposes, the PTC must make records available within 24 hours.

 

65. City Council require the PTC to keep records for a minimum of three years.

 

66. City Council require PTCs to provide a phone number and e-mail address to which the City may send any communications, including any requests for information required to be provided pursuant to the bylaw and the name of the individual responsible for receiving such communications.

 

67. City Council require PTCs to create passenger and driver accounts for use by the City for law enforcement purposes, upon request, and prohibit the PTC from obstructing access to those accounts.

 

68. City Council require a PTC to disclose on its Platform and make available for the public:

 

a. rates to be charged;

 

b. the criteria applied by the PTC to drivers and vehicles allowed to operate on or through the Platform;

 

c. information on the types or categories of services available to passengers through the Platform and the distinctions between these categories or types of service, if any, including whether drivers registered or affiliated with the PTC and providing service in any category are licensed by Municipal Licensing and Standards;

 

d. a plain-language explanation of their insurance coverage, including detailed information on how to initiate a claim; and

 

e. advise that personal information collected by the PTC may be disclosed to the City for the purposes of licensing enforcement when the passenger obtains transportation services within or from the City.

 

69. City Council define a PTC Driver as any person providing transportation to passengers for compensation through a PTC. Persons providing transportation that meets the definition of carpooling under the Public Vehicles Act shall not be defined as PTC Drivers.

 

71. City Council require that in advance of allowing drivers to use the PTC Platform, the PTC must require that drivers:

 

a. have met the qualifications for PTC Drivers and have been issued a PTC Driver licence by the City provide a current copy of their Ontario Drivers Licence and vehicle registration;

 

b. must pass Screening Criteria as prescribed by the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, which the PTC must evaluate at least once every 12 months for each driver;

 

c. provide confirmation that their personal insurance company has been advised that they offer or intend to offer transportation through a PTC;

 

d. consent to disclosure of all information provided to PTC to the City and/or law enforcement if requested by City or law enforcement for the purpose of auditing compliance with the bylaw, investigating complaints or potential breaches of the bylaw, or general law enforcement purposes;

 

e. only permit the owner of a vehicle to be offering transportation through the Platform or confirmation that the owner understands that they are legally responsible for any contraventions of the bylaw when their vehicle is being operated to deliver rides through the PTC Platform.

 

72. City Council prohibit PTC drivers from picking up passengers at cabstands, soliciting rides, and responding to street-hails, and hold both the PTC and PTC Driver/vehicle ownerresponsible for any contravention of this prohibition.

 

73. City Council require that upon request of Municipal Standards Officers, PTC Drivers produce:

 

a. Ontario driver licence;

 

b.  City-issued PTC licence;

 

c. proof of applicable insurance; and

 

d. evidence of a trip in progress or the last completed trip.

 

76. City Council require a PTC Vehicle owner or driver to submit their vehicle for inspection by a licensed mechanic within 24 hours of being directed by Municipal Licensing and Standards to do so, and prohibit the PTC driver from providing transportation until a mechanic has provided a Safety Standards Certificate confirming that the vehicle is fit to be driven.

 

77. City Council prohibit PTC Vehicles from having a roof light or any markings that could make the vehicle look like a taxicab or identify it as available for hire.

 

78. City Council require that a PTC ensure all PTC drivers and vehicles have Automobile Liability Insurance with limits of not less than $2,000,000 inclusive per occurrence for bodily injury, death, and damage to people or property as is required by taxicabs, subject to the following.

 

a.  Insurance must be in place and provide coverage from and including the point in time that a request for transportation is accepted by a PTC driver and until the PTC driver has completed a trip carrying any passenger(s).

 

b. The policy shall make provision for third party liability coverage that covers paying passengers in an amount not less than $2,000,000.

 

c.  ML&S must be provided 30 days prior notice in writing from the insurer of any cancellation, expiration or variation in the amount of the policy;

 

d.  If the PTC has a policy in place to satisfy these requirements, the PTC must provide a certificate of the policy to Municipal Licensing and Standards. Where the PTC requires PTC Drivers to have individual policies in place to satisfy these requirements, the PTC shall retain on file a certificate of the policy and produce it to Municipal Licensing and Standards or a law enforcement officer upon request; and

 

e.  Failure to comply with the above insurance requirements will provide the Executive Director of Municipal Licensing and Standards the ability to immediately suspend the PTC licence without a hearing until the insurance policy is compliant.

 

79. City Council require a PTC to have commercial general liability business insurance coverage of at least $5,000,000:, and inclusive of such requirements as set out below in the body of the report.

 

a.  Municipal Licensing and Standards must be provided 30 days prior notice in writing from the insurer of any cancellation, expiration or variation in the amount of the policy; and

 

b.  Failure to comply with the above insurance requirements will provide the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards the ability to immediately suspend the PTC licence without a hearing until the insurance policy is compliant.

 

80. City Council permit a PTC to set rates for fares provided that there shall be a minimum fare of not less than $3.25, and require a PTC them to:

 

a. clearly and transparently communicate the amount of all rates to be charged; and

 

b. ensure a record is maintained that the passenger accepted the rate prior to the trip commencing.

 

81. City Council require that before a trip commences, a PTC must provide passengers with the following information:

 

a. vehicle make and model;

 

b. PTC Driver first name;

 

c. PTC Driver's licence plate number; and

 

d. PTC Driver photo, upon request.

 

82. City Council require a PTC to provide a print or electronic receipt to the passenger at the conclusion of every trip. The receipt provided must include information on:

 

a. All rates, fees and/or surcharges charged for the trip;

 

b. Total amount paid;

 

c. Date and time of trip;

 

d. Location at which the passenger was picked up and location to which the passenger was driven;

 

e. Driver first name and provincial licence plate number; and

 

f. Total time and distance of trip.

 

87. City Council delegate to the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, the authority to establish policies and guidelines with respect to public safety and to establish thresholds for criminal and background screening, driving record checks, and other standards applicable to the issuance and renewal of all Vehicle-for-Hire licences and to a driver's access to and use of a PTC Platform, referenced as "Screening Criteria" as outlined in Attachment 2 to the report (March 31, 2016) of the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards.

 

90. City Council approve amendments to reduce administrative requirements by deleting sections in the bylaw, as described in Attachment 3 to the report (March 31, 2016) of the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards.

 

91. City Council direct the City Solicitor to import all relevant general provisions, excluding Appendix K, and including all taxicab and limousine related schedules and articles from the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 545, Licensing, to facilitate the creation of the new Vehicle-for-Hire Bylaw, as prescribed, and including amendments as deemed necessary.

 

92. City Council direct that the City Solicitor may report directly to Council for instructions if, in the course of drafting the bylaw, she determines that there are provisions or issues relating to taxicab, limousine, or PTC licensing on which further instruction is appropriate.

 

94. City Council amend Chapter 441 by:

 

a.  eliminating the application fee for Standard Taxicab Owner licence in Attachment 2 to the supplementary report (April 29, 2016) from the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards; and

 

b. adopting the balance of the fees in Attachment 2 to the supplementary report (April 29, 2016) from the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards.

 

98. City Council approve a net overall increase to Municipal Licensing and Standards divisional complement by 10 FTE comprised of 5 permanent and 5 temporary full-time FTE.

 

SECTION 2 - COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS TO BE DELETED

 

1. City Council delete the following Licensing and Standards Committee recommendations:

 

29. City Council require that all Limousine Owners affiliate with a Limousine Broker.

 

30. City Council require that all Limousine trips be booked through a Limousine Broker. Limousines are not permitted to solicit rides or respond to street-hails.

 

41. City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards continue to regulate the taxicab, limousine and private vehicle-for-hire industry by ensuring that all owners and drivers of taxicabs, limousines and private vehicles-for-hire vehicles for hire that provide transportation services in the City require a licence issued by the City.

 

44. City Council direct that Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 545, Licensing, be amended to require that, in addition to taxicabs, all limousines and PTC Vehicles have a camera system installed.

 

45. City Council amend the definition of "CAMERA SYSTEM" set out in Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 545, Licensing, to read as follows:

 

"A camera system with minimum specifications approved by the Municipal Licensing and Standards Division, capable of recording images of persons in a taxicab, limousine or PTC vehicle, such that access to the images is limited to law enforcement personnel authorized by the Executive Director, the Executive Director, and the vehicle’s registered brokerage, for the purposes of law enforcement, training, or customer service investigations."

 

47. City Council re-establish the Taxi Advisory Committee.

 

SECTION 3 - COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS TO BE AMENDED

 

2. City Council amend the following Licensing and Standards Committee recommendations so that they now read:

 

5. City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to report back to the appropriate standing committee in the third quarter of 2016 on a strategy to collect funds from all non-accessible vehicles-for-hire- to provide incentives to increase the number of on-demand, metered accessible taxicabs available to the public as well as creating a working group composed of stakeholders (such as staff in the Equity, Diversity and Human Rights Office) and accessibility experts and advocates to, amongst other issues, develop a funding program and process that will advance inclusive on-demand ground transportation for all users and an Accessibility Strategy which includes access and service standards, car design, training, etc.

 

17. City Council amend taxicab vehicle requirements by:

 

a. permitting Ambassador and Standard taxicabs, effective immediately, to:

 

i. be no more than 7 model years old, but be permitted to be licensed at any time within the 7 model years;

ii. carry a maximum of 7 passengers plus the driver;

 

b. permitting TTLs, effective immediately, to:

 

i. be an accessible vehicle no more than 7 model years old, but be permitted to be licensed at any time within the 7 model years; and

ii. carry a maximum of 7 passengers plus the driver.;

 

c. Permitting limousine sedans, effective immediately, to:
i. be no more than 7 model years old, but be permitted to be licensed at any time within the 7 model years; and
ii. carry a maximum of 7 passengers plus the driver;

 

d. permitting PTC vehicles to:
i. be no more than 7 model years old, but be permitted at any time within the 7 model years;
ii. carry a maximum of 7 passengers plus the driver; and
iii. be any four-door vehicle,

 

40. City Council direct that the qualifications for taxicab, limousine and PTC vehicle drivers include a requirement that all drivers licensed by the City of Toronto be 18 years of age or older, hold a valid unrestricted G Class Ontario driver's license, and have at least one year driving history.

 

46. City Council request the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to consider, as part of her report back to the appropriate standing committee on a strategy to collect funds from all non-accessible vehicles-for-hire, a $0.10 levy from each taxicab, limousine and PTC vehicle fare be paid to be applied for the development of an Accessibility Fund to be administered by the Municipal Licensing and Standards Division, with the proceeds from such a Fund to be used to provide a grant to licensed taxicab, limousine or PTC vehicle drivers who wish to purchase a wheelchair accessible vehicle.

 

SECTION 4 - ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS

 

A.  City Council direct that PTC vehicle must display PTC identifier on the back of the vehicle at all times while operating on the Platform, to be in a form approved by the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, or designate.

 

B.  City Council direct that the maximum fines that may be imposed in respect of offences under the new Vehicle-for-Hire bylaw be increased from $25,000 to $50,000 for individuals (including directors or officers of a corporation) and from $50,000 to $100,000 for corporations.

 

C. City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, to procure a consultant to undertake a supply and demand study that assesses and measures the impacts of the volume of PTC vehicles and drivers, as it relates to full-time work in the existing taxicab driver labour market, before and on a regular basis after implementation, in one year and every two years after that.

 

D. City Council direct that the current requirement for cameras in taxicabs are maintained and direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to report back in the second quarter of 2017 on the need for cameras and other safety features required in all for hire vehicles.

 

E.  City Council require that all taxicab, limousine and PTC Vehicles pass mechanical inspections, as follows:

 

a.  Require all taxicabs, limousines and PTC vehicles to be inspected at City-run facilities twice per year until an alternate vehicle inspection program is developed;

 

b.  City-run facility will be at cost recovery;

 

c.  Develop an alternate vehicle inspection program that allows all vehicles to use Ministry of Transportation Safety Standards Certificates provided by City-approved, pre-qualified inspection facilities; and

 

d.  Taxicabs, limousines and PTCs to submit to ML&S a Safety Standards Certificate, every 6 months, unless the taxicab, limousine or PTC vehicle has travelled less than 40,000KMs in the previous year, where the vehicle will then be required to obtain a Safety Standards Certificate once per year.

 

F.  City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standard to report back by the third quarter of 2017 on an incentive program to reduce vehicle emissions in the ground transportation industry.

 

G.  City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to monitor the impact on revenues and expenditures resulting from Council recommendations on Ground Transportation fees and related activities, report on any variances resulting from these recommendations to their 2016 budget through quarterly variance reports and provide any required budget adjustments for Council's consideration as part of the 2017 Budget process based on actual activity experienced.

 

H.  City Council direct that City Agencies, Boards and Commissions shall be required to utilize licensed taxicabs to service contracts, when they require vehicle for hire services. ‎
I.  City Council direct that all vehicle for hire drivers can be registered to work for one brokerage or communication platform at a time.

 

J.  City Council direct that Brokerages be permitted to submit driver records on behalf of taxicab drivers.

 

K.  City Council permit Taxicab Broker as part of their Taxicab Brokers license to be allowed the management of a taxicab license, and be able to rent it or lease it to a licensed driver on behalf of the owner. The Taxicab brokers can designate an individual who is a signing officer or employee of the said corporation.

 

L.  City Council permit Taxicab brokers to rent or lease the taxicab license to the taxicab driver on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

 

M.  City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to report on:

 

a. the feasibility of lowering the fee for Standard Plate owner renewals by 75%;

 

b.  the feasibility of establishing a transition fund for taxicab plate owners who investments have been negatively impacted by new market entrants; and

 

c.   the outcome of a study that assesses and measures the impacts of the volume of PTC vehicles and drivers.

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:23 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 - Part 1 - 1
Yes: 29 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, John Filion, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, John Tory
No: 13 Maria Augimeri, Shelley Carroll, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Gord Perks, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:25 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 - Part 1 - 1 - REVOTE
Yes: 31 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, John Filion, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory
No: 11 Shelley Carroll, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:26 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Section 1 Part 1-7a & b
Yes: 41 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory
No: 1 Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:27 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 Part 1-7c
Yes: 41 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory
No: 1 Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:28 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 Part 1-10a
Yes: 30 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, John Filion, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory
No: 12 Maria Augimeri, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Joe Mihevc, Gord Perks, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:29 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 - Part 1-10b
Yes: 37 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 5 John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:30 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 Part 1-11
Yes: 25 Paul Ainslie, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, John Tory
No: 17 Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:31 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 Part 1-29
Yes: 24 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson, John Tory
No: 18 Maria Augimeri, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, David Shiner, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:32 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Section 1 Part 1-30
Yes: 23 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson, John Tory
No: 19 Maria Augimeri, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Jim Karygiannis, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, David Shiner, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:33 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 Part 1-40
Yes: 39 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory
No: 3 Pam McConnell, Anthony Perruzza, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:34 PM
Result: Lost Majority Required - LS10.3 - Section 1 Part 1-41
Yes: 19 John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, Jaye Robinson, John Tory
No: 23 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:35 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 Part 1-51
Yes: 24 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson, John Tory
No: 18 Maria Augimeri, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, David Shiner, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:36 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 Part 1-52
Yes: 24 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson, John Tory
No: 18 Maria Augimeri, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Jim Karygiannis, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, David Shiner, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:37 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 Part 1-54
Yes: 32 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, John Filion, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory
No: 10 Maria Augimeri, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, Paula Fletcher, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Gord Perks, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:38 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 Part 1-55
Yes: 41 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 1 Joe Mihevc
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:39 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 Part 1-56
Yes: 42 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 0
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:40 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 Part 1-57
Yes: 42 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 0
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:40 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 Part 1-58
Yes: 42 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 0
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:41 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 Part 1-59
Yes: 42 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 0
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:42 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 Part 1-60
Yes: 42 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 0
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:43 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Section 1 Part 1-61
Yes: 42 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 0
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:44 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 Part 1-62-68
Yes: 42 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 0
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:45 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 Part 1-69-78
Yes: 42 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 0
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:47 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 Part 1-79
Yes: 42 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 0
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:47 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 Part 1-80
Yes: 35 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory
No: 7 Maria Augimeri, John Campbell, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, Mike Layton, Gord Perks, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:48 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Section 1 Part 1-81-82
Yes: 42 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 0
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:49 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 Part 1-87
Yes: 41 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory
No: 1 Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:51 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 Part 1-90
Yes: 29 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, John Tory
No: 13 Maria Augimeri, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Gord Perks, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:52 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 Part 1 91-92
Yes: 38 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 4 Janet Davis, Mike Layton, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Gord Perks
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:53 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 Part 1-94
Yes: 27 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory
No: 15 Maria Augimeri, Shelley Carroll, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:54 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 1 Part 1-98
Yes: 37 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Paula Fletcher, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 5 John Campbell, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Mary Fragedakis, James Pasternak
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:56 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 2 - Delete various committee recs
Yes: 26 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory
No: 16 Maria Augimeri, Shelley Carroll, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Jim Karygiannis, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:58 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 3
Yes: 42 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 0
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 8:59 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 4 - Part A
Yes: 37 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 5 Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Josh Colle, Giorgio Mammoliti, Gord Perks
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 9:00 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 4 - Part B
Yes: 42 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 0
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 9:01 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Section 4 - Part C
Yes: 40 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 2 Maria Augimeri, Denzil Minnan-Wong
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 9:02 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 4 - Part D - as amended
Yes: 41 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 1 John Campbell
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 9:03 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 4 - Part E
Yes: 40 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 2 Jon Burnside, Janet Davis
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 9:05 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 4 - Part F
Yes: 42 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 0
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 9:05 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 4 - Part G
Yes: 42 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 0
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 9:06 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 4 - Part H
Yes: 38 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 4 John Campbell, John Filion, Stephen Holyday, Josh Matlow
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 9:07 PM
Result: Lost (tie) Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 4 - Part I
Yes: 21 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Paula Fletcher, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Giorgio Mammoliti, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, Jaye Robinson, John Tory
No: 21 Maria Augimeri, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 9:08 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 4 - Part J
Yes: 37 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 5 Maria Augimeri, Joe Cressy, Sarah Doucette, Pam McConnell, Denzil Minnan-Wong
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 9:09 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 4 - Part K
Yes: 22 Ana Bailão, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson, John Tory
No: 20 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Jon Burnside, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, David Shiner, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 9:10 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 4 - Part L
Yes: 25 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson, John Tory
No: 17 Maria Augimeri, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, David Shiner, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 9:11 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Tory - motion 1a - Section 4 - Part M as amended
Yes: 25 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, John Tory
No: 17 Maria Augimeri, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Gord Perks, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

1b - Motion to Amend Item moved by Mayor John Tory (Carried)

That City Council adopt the following recommendation contained in the supplementary report (April 29, 2016) from the City Solicitor [LS10.3a]:

 

1.  Confidential Attachment 1 remain confidential as it contains advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege.
2 - Motion to Receive Item moved by Councillor Maria Augimeri (Lost)

That the item be received for information.

 

Vote (Receive Item) May-03-2016 8:16 PM
Result: Lost Majority Required - LS10.3 - Augimeri - motion 2 - Receive the item
Yes: 14 Maria Augimeri, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 28 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

3 - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Joe Mihevc (Lost)

That City Council delete Licensing and Standards Committee Recommendations 8 to 13:

 

Recommendations to be deleted

 

8.  City Council delete the required minimum owner-operator hours for Ambassador taxicab, Toronto Taxicab, and Wheelchair Accessible taxicab owners.

 

9.  City Council delete the requirement that a Toronto Taxicab Licence be issued upon the sale of a Standard or Ambassador taxicab.

 

10.  City Council direct that all Ambassador taxicabs be deemed to be Standard Taxicabs, effective immediately.

 

11.  City Council direct that when a Standard taxicab vehicle is sold, the new purchaser may be issued a Standard taxicab licence, subject to meeting the requirements of a qualified purchaser.

 

12.  City Council remove restrictions that prohibit a person from owning more than one taxicab.

 

13.  City Council remove the provisions that restricts taxicab owners from incorporating.

 

so that the 2014 taxicab reforms are maintained.

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 9:13 PM
Result: Lost Majority Required - LS10.3 - Mihevc - motion 3
Yes: 15 Maria Augimeri, Shelley Carroll, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, David Shiner
No: 27 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Paula Fletcher, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 9:14 PM
Result: Lost Majority Required - LS10.3 - Mihevc - motion 3 - revote
Yes: 17 Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Shelley Carroll, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, David Shiner, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 25 Paul Ainslie, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson, John Tory
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

4a - Motion to Amend Motion moved by Councillor Paul Ainslie (Carried)

City Council amend motion 1a by Mayor Tory by adding the following to Section 4, Part M:

 

d.  the praticality of all rules and regulations, such review to include a rigorous performance measure system to be completed in the next 24 months.

 

So that motion 1a part M by Mayor Tory now reads:

 

M. City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to report on:

 

a. the feasibility of lowering the fee for Standard Plate owner renewals by 75%;

 

b. the feasibility of establishing a transition fund for taxicab plate owners who investments have been negatively impacted by new market entrants; and

 

c. the outcome of a study that assesses and measures the impacts of the volume of PTC vehicles and drivers; and

 

d. the praticality of all rules and regulations, such review to include a rigorous performance measure system to be completed in the next 24 months.

 

Vote (Amend Motion) May-03-2016 8:17 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Ainslie - Motion 4a
Yes: 37 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 5 Joe Cressy, Paula Fletcher, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Frances Nunziata (Chair)
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

4b - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Paul Ainslie (Carried)

City Council direct the City Manager to use the new regulatory framework to begin a conversation with the provincal government, other municipalities and planning authorities to develop a more integrated approach to transit and transportation policy.

 

 

Vote (Amend Item (Additional)) May-03-2016 9:17 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Ainslie - Motion 4B
Yes: 30 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Raymond Cho, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson, John Tory
No: 12 Jon Burnside, Shelley Carroll, Josh Colle, Justin J. Di Ciano, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Jim Karygiannis, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, David Shiner, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

5 - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Shelley Carroll (Redundant)

That City Council require that Taxicab Brokers pay the taxicab driver the difference between the discounted or flat rate and the City-regulated rate, effective immediately.
6 - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Jon Burnside (Carried)

City Council amend Liscensing and Standards Committee Recommendation 42 by adding the words "or all weather" so that it now reads:

 

42.  City Council require that every vehicle used as a taxicab, limousine or private vehicle-for-hire be equipped with four snow tires or all-weather tires, every year from December 1st to April 30th.

 

Vote (Amend Item) May-03-2016 9:15 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Burnside - Motion 6 revised
Yes: 27 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Justin J. Di Ciano, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Jim Karygiannis, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Josh Matlow, Joe Mihevc, Frances Nunziata (Chair), James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 15 Ana Bailão, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Frank Di Giorgio, Stephen Holyday, Norman Kelly, Giorgio Mammoliti, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Cesar Palacio, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, John Tory
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

7 - Motion to Amend Motion moved by Councillor Mary Fragedakis (Lost)

That City Council amend motion 1a by Mayor Tory by adding the following new c to Section 1, Part 80:

 

c.   advertise rates and prohibit PTCs from charging above the PTC advertised rates for PTC vehicles

 

so that Part 80 now reads as follows:

 

80. City Council permit a PTC to set rates for fares provided that there shall be a minimum fare of not less than $3.25, and require a PTC them to:

 

a. clearly and transparently communicate the amount of all rates to be charged;

 

b. ensure a record is maintained that the passenger accepted the rate prior to the trip commencing; and

 

c. advertise rates and prohibit PTCs from charging above the PTC advertised rates for PTC vehicles.

 

Vote (Amend Motion) May-03-2016 8:18 PM
Result: Lost Majority Required - LS10.3 - Fragedakis - motion 7
Yes: 17 Maria Augimeri, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 25 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

8 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor David Shiner (Carried)

That City Council request the Province of Ontario to regulate Private Transportation Companies.

 

Vote (Amend Item (Additional)) May-03-2016 9:18 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Shiner - Motion 8
Yes: 34 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Christin Carmichael Greb, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 8 Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Shelley Carroll, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Josh Matlow, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Michael Thompson
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

9 - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor John Filion (Redundant)

That City Council require that no vehicle covered by the Vehicle-for-hire bylaw be permitted to engage in surge pricing
10 - Motion to Amend Motion moved by Councillor Raymond Cho (Carried)

That City Council amend motion 1a by Mayor Tory  by deleting the word "second" and inserting the word "first" in section 4, recommendation D so that it now reads:

 

D. City Council direct that the current requirement for cameras in taxicabs are maintained and direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to report back in thefirst quarter of 2017 on the need for cameras and other safety features required in all for hire vehicles.

 

 

Vote (Amend Motion) May-03-2016 8:19 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Cho - motion 10
Yes: 34 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Giorgio Mammoliti, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 8 Maria Augimeri, John Campbell, Janet Davis, Chin Lee, Josh Matlow, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Gord Perks
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

11a - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Janet Davis (Lost)

That City Council adopt the following recommendation contained in the report (March 31, 2016) from the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards:

 

4. City Council accelerate the number of accessible taxicabs available for on-demand metered service to 25% of the taxicab fleet by 2021 by authorizing the issuance of up to 200 incremental TTLs to drivers on the waiting list for each of the next five years, effective immediately.

 

Vote (Amend Item (Additional)) May-03-2016 9:19 PM
Result: Lost Majority Required - LS10.3 - Davis - Motion 11a
Yes: 20 Maria Augimeri, Jon Burnside, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 22 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Jaye Robinson, John Tory
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

11b - Motion to Amend Motion moved by Councillor Janet Davis (Lost)

That City Council amend motion 1a by Mayor Tory by adding the following to Section 1, Recommendation 59(b):

 

8. Evidence of completion of applicable training program

9. Copy of HST Registration

 

so that it now now reads:

 

b. Required documentation includes the current documentation required for taxicabs, including:

 

1. Driver full name
2. Copy of unrestricted G provincial drivers licence
3. Vehicle registration including licence plate number, make and model of vehicle
4. Criminal background checks
5. Certificate of insurance
6. Vehicle inspection certificate or equivalent
7. Driving record checks

8. Evidence of completion of applicable training program

9. Copy of HST Registration

 

Vote (Amend Motion) May-03-2016 8:20 PM
Result: Lost Majority Required - LS10.3 - Davis - motion 11b
Yes: 17 Maria Augimeri, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Jim Karygiannis, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 25 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

11c - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Janet Davis (Redundant)

That City Council direct that all criminal record checks be submitted directly to the Toronto Police Service by taxicab and PTC drivers, and City Council direct that criminal record checks cannot be conducted through a third party contractor.
11d - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Janet Davis (Redundant)

That City Council require that all documents filed by PTC drivers be submitted in the same form and process as taxicab drivers.
11e - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Janet Davis (Redundant)

That City Council require that all licensing fees for PTC drivers be the same as taxicab drivers.
11f - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Janet Davis (Redundant)

That City Council direct that all vehicles-for-hire charge the current regulated taxi rates.
12 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Jim Karygiannis (Carried)

That City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to report back to the Licensing and Standards Committee in one year on the effectiveness of Council's decision on this Item.

 

Vote (Amend Item (Additional)) May-03-2016 9:20 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Karygiannis - Motion 12
Yes: 28 Ana Bailão, John Campbell, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Michelle Holland, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 14 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Jon Burnside, Christin Carmichael Greb, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Justin J. Di Ciano, Stephen Holyday, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), David Shiner
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

13 - Motion to Amend Motion moved by Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti (Carried)

That City Council amend motion 1a by Mayor Tory by adding the words "and direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to report back on Parts a and b above by September 2016" to Section 4, Part M so that it now reads as follows:

 

M. City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to report on:

 

a. the feasibility of lowering the fee for Standard Plate owner renewals by 75%;

 

b. the feasibility of establishing a transition fund for taxicab plate owners who investments have been negatively impacted by new market entrants; and

 

c. the outcome of a study that assesses and measures the impacts of the volume of PTC vehicles and drivers;

 

and direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to report back on Parts a and b above by September 2016.

 

Vote (Amend Motion) May-03-2016 8:21 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Mammoliti - motion 13
Yes: 22 Paul Ainslie, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, John Tory
No: 20 Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Gord Perks, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser

Motion to Adopt Item as Amended (Carried)

Vote (Adopt Item as Amended) May-03-2016 9:21 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required - LS10.3 - Adopt the item as amended
Yes: 27 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory
No: 15 Maria Augimeri, Shelley Carroll, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Absent: 2 Mark Grimes, Ron Moeser
Written by Comments Off on A New Vehicle-for-Hire Bylaw to Regulate Toronto’s Ground Transportation Industry Posted in Shangox Taxi News

City Council – May 03, 2016

Fate of Uber in Toronto hangs in the balance

Councillors continued to negotiate alliances on reforms for Uber and the taxi industry into Monday evening, just ahead of a big vote at council

Mayor John Tory was making calls and meeting colleagues ahead of what is expected to be a close vote on regulations for Uber and the taxi industry. (Rick Madonik / Toronto Star file photo)

Heading into the biggest vote since the Gardiner East debate, Mayor John Tory has yet to wrangle the votes needed to approve a new set of regulations for Uber and the taxi industry.

Ahead of council, which meets starting Tuesday morning, Tory himself made calls over the weekend and met councillors into Monday evening as he looks to leverage support from left-leaning colleagues needed to pass the reforms.

Those with knowledge of the negotiations said the mayor’s office is attempting to win support from a group who has defended 2014 reforms that added new safety regulations and looked to put more owner-operators on the road by phasing out an elite group of taxi plate owners.

While much of that work was stripped from a staff proposal released in April, it’s expected a series of amendments pushed by the mayor’s office and allies would look to return some of those reforms in order to amass enough support to pass.

What’s believed to be a close vote follows a marathon licensing committee meeting in April that saw a group of mostly right-wing, pro-taxi councillors gutting the staff report of any rules that would allow Uber’s most popular service, UberX, to operate on city streets.

After varying regulations passed in Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton, all eyes are now on the debate in Toronto where Uber currently has 500,000 active users and 15,000 drivers.

Still at issue are concerns over passenger safety, drivers having equal insurance, oversight and inspections, and the number of vehicles allowed onto the roads.

Hanging over the debate is the concern that two differing categories of regulations — one for taxi drivers and one for “private technology companies” — has Uber playing by a different set of rules, which critics on council and within the industry argue make them less accountable to the city.

Uber Canada officials have said they are willing to be flexible on some items, including a requirement for all drivers to equip their vehicles with snow tires if driving in the winter.

But other concerns, like allowing an unlimited number of drivers to be licensed, have left little room for negotiation thus far.

“I think people are very solid in their views,” said Councillor Jim Karygiannis, a member of the licensing committee who voted in favour of scrapping regulations to bring the U.S.-based company under the city’s purview.

Though he earlier told the Star he believes the company must be properly regulated, not necessarily exiled, he appeared less certain on Monday.

“I’m starting to lean more on the, ‘Thank you very much, Uber, goodbye.”

Others say they support the direction of staff to loosen regulations on taxis as rules for Uber are introduced, allowing for increased competition.

“I’m very much in favour of enabling a competitive environment where private transportation can operate under regulations that keep passengers safe,” said Councillor John Campbell, who appears to be aligning with the mayor.

The first-term councillor said some colleagues who have been at city hall longer appear to have entrenched views and alliances within the taxi industry, while newcomers like him, who may be swing-vote targets, have fewer allegiances.

“It’s not my view that it’s our job to protect jobs in any industry,” he said, adding he’ll support regulations that increase safety measures, including snow tires.

The mayor has made the Uber debate his key item at council, which means it will be up first for debate at city hall, where it is expected to dominate discussions for hours.

This week, council will also debate whether to approve a pilot project for a five-kilometre stretch of bike lanes on Bloor St., what is expected to pass with Tory’s stated support.

Also on the agenda is a decision over the Ward 2 Etobicoke North seat left vacant by the late councillor Rob Ford. Staff have outlined the procedure for holding a byelection in July or for council to appoint a replacement. The choice is up to council. Tory has said previously he would support a byelection with more than two years left in the term.

Taxi industry urges council to demand Uber drivers prove insurance

BY , POLITICAL BUREAU CHIEF

FIRST POSTED: | UPDATED:

TORONTO - Toronto’s taxi industry fired off a “pre-emptive strike” in its battle with Uber in the lead-up to this week’s city council meeting.

Mayor John Tory and city councillors are slated during a two-day council meeting, starting Tuesday, to deal with the controversial issue of setting up a regulatory framework for Uber.

Rita Smith, executive director of the Toronto Taxi Alliance, called on councillors to demand UberX drivers prove they are insured when they register with the city.

Smith said Monday she wanted to head-off a string of announcements that have muddied the waters around whether Uber drivers have adequate insurance.

Council could settle that question by making the ride-sharing company’s drivers prove it, she said.

“Toronto council is going to vote once again on Uber, thinking there is insurance when they have absolutely no way of knowing whether or not any of those UberX drivers have purchased any policy that might cover them,” she said.

Smith said when council has dealt with the ride-sharing issue in the past, there have been announcements from the insurance industry regarding the creation of policies tailor-made for Uber.

“I was trying to get out ahead of councillors, yet again, being snowed or being given smoke and mirrors on an insurance product that either doesn’t exist or exists but no one is purchasing,” she said. “It is a bit of a pre-emptive strike in it’s happened three times now.”

Smith said it’s not clear what council will do, calling the two-day meeting a “gong-show.’

City council faces the thorny issue of regulating the ride-sharing firm after a staff report that aimed to do just that was gutted by the licensing and standards committee two weeks ago. All language that dealt with Uber was stripped from the report at that time ,but council members could opt to reinstate it or make their own amendments.

Uber spokesman Susie Heath insisted the company’s drivers are covered by insurance.

“There has been no change to the insurance provided by Uber,” she said in a statement to the Sun. “In addition to our existing coverage, we are encouraged to see a growing number of Canada’s insurers show interest in innovation in the transportation space.”

sjeffords@postmedia.com

Written by Comments Off on Taxi industry urges council to demand Uber drivers prove insurance Posted in Shangox Taxi News

Media Advisory: Toronto Taxi Alliance Press Conference/Briefing On New Information Regarding UberX and Insurance

TORONTO, April 29, 2016 /CNW/ - On Monday, May 2nd the Toronto Taxi Alliance and other industry groups will hold a press conference/briefing on new information received from the Financial Services Commission of Ontario regarding UberX and insurance.

Philomena Comerford, CEO of Baird MacGregor Insurance and subject matter expert will be joining us to answer your questions.

Date:

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Time:

1:30 pm

Location:

Committee Room #2

SOURCE Toronto Taxi Alliance

For further information: Rita Smith, 647 242 5505, or ritasmith@rogers.com

Written by Comments Off on Media Advisory: Toronto Taxi Alliance Press Conference/Briefing On New Information Regarding UberX and Insurance Posted in Shangox Taxi News

Uber has robbed me of a decent living — and more

A longtime taxi driver urges city council to reject proposed new rules for ride-sharing companies like Uber

'The sad reality with the rise of Uber is I can’t make a decent living anymore,' writes Lincoln Samuel. 'I am making less money now than I did five, ten years ago.'

Attention Toronto city councillors: We’re on track to create a gig economy if your new vehicle-for-hire bylaw is passed on Tuesday.

I’m calling on city councillors to vote for fair and smart regulations on May 3, which put the safety and interests of Torontonians first. I’m also asking council to vote against the creation of a shadow taxi service that threatens the livelihoods of thousands of small business owners who have always played by the rules.

I came to Toronto in 1978 from Jamaica. I met my beautiful wife while I was going to school. I worked a few odd jobs in security and at the Bank of Nova Scotia, but at 26 years old, I began driving a taxi full-time.

I work hard. My wife and I own a small restaurant in Scarborough and we also have a mortgage to pay. We’re putting both our children through school. My daughter is a teacher and my son is now graduating from law school. When I look at them, I’m happy to know they will have good jobs and good livelihoods in this country.

Driving a taxi used to be a good full-time job. It was a good opportunity when I began and provided for my family and me for many years.

The sad reality with the rise of Uber is I can’t make a decent living anymore. I am making less money now than I did five, ten years ago.

And it’s not for lack of trying. I work full-time hours every week. I pay for driver training and police record checks. I bring my car in for inspection twice a year and again for repairs. I pay my licensing fees, my insurance (now $5,000-plus per year), and winter tires. If I don’t, the police pull me over or the city gives me a ticket.

My friends tell me I should skip the rules and go drive for Uber. If I didn’t have a conscience, I would. The thought of getting into an accident with someone else’s son or daughter and no proper insurance would keep me up at night.

My wife wouldn’t be able to bear the thought of me picking up passengers with no safety features, such as a security camera in my car.

It’s not much better for UberX drivers either. If these new bylaws pass, our city will continue to flood the market with for-hire vehicles. We’ll all be driving longer hours, at discounted rates, just to make ends meet. For UberX drivers, if they don’t like the cut Uber takes from their fare or the fact they can’t accept tips through the app, there’s little they can do about it.

We’re seeing the strife that UberX drivers are experiencing around the world, specifically in cities like San Francisco and New York.

After 32 years of driving a taxi, what else is there for me to do?

I have no problem with technology and innovation. Beck has a homegrown app that has made it easier for me to connect with customers and lets my customers pay hassle-free.

Nor do I have an issue with competition. While I know there has been some negative perceptions around taxis, I pride myself on offering my customers a first-rate service.

My concern is that the way the new proposed rules are designed, there is no level playing field for drivers like me. I’m providing the exact same service as an UberX driver. I transport paying riders to where they need to go.

So why are we being treated differently?

A freelance transportation industry with no regulations threatens the livelihoods of thousands of drivers.

I’m losing more than just my job with these new rules.

I’m losing the pride I had in my ability to make a decent living for my family.

Lincoln Samuel has been driving for Beck Taxi since 1983.

Why Uber must go

Council must pass ‘balanced package of regulations’ that keep Uber around: Tory

Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, April 27, 2016 9:45AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 27, 2016 4:10PM EDT

Mayor John Tory says that he remains confident that city council will pass a “balanced package of regulations” that will allow Uber to continue operating while ensuring that the playing field is levelled for conventional taxis.

Tory made the comment to reporters on Wednesday afternoon in the wake of a report in the Toronto Sun in which Uber Canada’s general manager said that the company would have to pack up and leave Toronto if council approves ground transportation regulations that don’t include a category allowing ridesharing services to operate.

“I will be working hard through the weekend and into next week to make sure that what we have approved by city council is a balanced set of regulations that put Uber under the regulatory framework for the first time, that make sure the regulations are fair as they apply to taxis and most of all is considerate to the public in terms of the need for safety but also their ability to have choice,” Tory said. “If people are truly committed to achieving a balanced solution there is no reason for anybody to leave town.”

Last month, city staff came forward with a number of proposed regulations for Uber, including a recommendation to place the ride-sharing service in its own licensing category separate from taxi drivers.

When the licensing and standards committee later met to discuss the staff report, though, members of the committee effectively voted against legalizing the service by deleting recommendations that would bring Uber under the law.

Speaking with reporters following a speech at the Toronto Region Board of Trade, Tory said he is willing to revisit the regulations that were initially proposed in an effort to gain the support of a majority of councillors.

Specifically, Tory said he would be willing to budge on controversial changes that would have removed requirements for taxi drivers to have a grasp of the English language and to outfit their vehicles with winter tires.

“Our work continues.it is not a matter of accepting or rejecting any package of proposals from the past or the present,” he said. “It is a matter of crafting in a consensual way a balanced package that allows Uber and companies like it to be available to people in a safe way and also allows taxicabs to compete fairly and to be available to people as they have been for a long time.”

Tory has previously faced criticism from members of the taxi industry, who have said that he has allowed Uber to operate at the expense of their industry.

Some lobbyists for the taxi industry have even gone as far as saying that Uber could eventually bring about the end of conventional taxis due to the service’s low overhead and ability to undercut its competition.

“Good riddance if they want to leave,” longtime Uber opponent and Ward 30 Coun. Jim Karygiannis told CP24 on Wednesday. “They are a company that came in and said ‘it is my way or the highway’ and I am sorry that is not going to work. They have been flouting federal, provincial and municipal laws and they are trying to have it their way. Blackmailing council? I am sorry that doesn’t work.”

The ground transportation regulations will be debated by city council at a meeting which begins on Tuesday.

In a statement sent out last week, Uber said that if the guidelines are approved as-is would force the company out of Toronto, making it the largest city in North America without the service.

Written by Comments Off on Council must pass ‘balanced package of regulations’ that keep Uber around: Tory Posted in Shangox Taxi News

Why is John Tory hell bent on trying to prop up Uber

Updated at 8:37 am

The hallmark of John Tory’s administration in Toronto has been his implicit support for Uber and its lawless operation. The mayor of Toronto would have been right in supporting Uber had Toronto had a serious problem with ground transportation in any shape or form.  On the contrary,Toronto has one of the best ground transportation systems in the world, according to the Municipal Licensing Standards own report in 2014 , prior to John Tory's tenure.

Today there are literally thousands of unlicensed and uninsured Uber vehicles and drivers plying the streets of Toronto picking up passengers for money. It is obvious that Toronto police have been implicitly advised not to disturb Uber's illegal operations of trying to monopolize the taxi business the world over.

The level of tolerance for lawlessness in Toronto has transferred to other areas, including random shootings and homicides. There are more homicides at the same time today than there were last year. The mayor is baffled at why that is the case and is assembling a team to study it.

Please save the taxpayers’ money by not engaging in frivolous expenses. Toronto is either a law abiding society or it is not, there can be no compromise on this.

The question everyone is dying to find answers to is why is John Tory hell bent on trying to prop up Uber and going to extraordinary lengths to do so?

Toronto's financial district is being affected by traffic disruptions Sunday as police continue to investigate an overnight crash. (Philippe de Montigny/CBC)

What we know is, at some point the City of Toronto will be implicated in the March 18, 2016 horrific accident involving an UberX vehicle, which had occupants and turned out to be an Avis rental car. There are myriad of insurance issues that will arise out of this case, to which the City of Toronto will be required to provide solutions.  It may prove without a doubt the wisdom of John Tory’s policies towards Uber, or his folly on a subject it appears he knows nothing about.

We will watch with interest.

Car involved in crash last month was a rental illegally being used as an Uber

Avis-owned car hit by an SUV during police chase was being used illegally to carry customers.

A silver Malibu involved in a crash during a police chase in downtown Toronto last month was a rental driven by a 39-year-old UberX driver, Torstar has learned.

Last month, police were pursuing a black Acura SUV in a chase that ended in a collision with the UberX car, sending eight people to hospital.

There were four occupants in the Uber X vehicle, according to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which investigates whenever an interaction with police results in serious injury, death or sexual assault allegation.

Toronto police and SIU investigations into the incident are ongoing.

Alice Pereira, of Avis Budget Group, confirmed an UberX driver carrying passengers was behind the wheel of one of its cars — even though the rental contract specifically excludes anyone from using the vehicle to pick up passengers for money.

“It is a clear violation of the rental agreement to utilize a rental vehicle to carry passengers or property for hire. We are cooperating with the Toronto police on the matter,” she wrote in email.

UberX is an app-based service that uses private vehicles to carry paying passengers. City council will vote next month on whether to set up a two-tier system to govern both the taxi industry and transportation network companies such as Uber.

Philomena Comerford, president and CEO of Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers LP, said any renter using a rental vehicle “conceivably exposes the rental car company, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists to uninsured claims.”

The rental car company can argue that it did not give consent for the vehicle to be used to carry paying passengers and therefore “the legal entanglements will be inevitable.”

Rita Smith, of the Toronto Taxi Alliance, said that when an UberX driver uses a rental car it is “a total violation of everything Uber says they do to inspect cars, drivers’ ownership, registration, insurance etc.,” she wrote in email.

“If this fellow was able to be driving a rental which could not have satisfied any of Uber's supposed requirements, how reliable is Uber's system on the whole?”

Uber Canada spokeswoman Susie Heath stated the company does not allow rental cars to be used on the UberX app.

“Our internal registration and rigorous checks processes help prevent such vehicles from gaining access to the platform,” she wrote.

If a customer reports the UberX driver, or vehicle, is different than registered, Uber’s “response team” can cut off his or her continued access to the app.

Craig Hirota, of the Associated Canadian Car Rental Operators, said Tuesday the major car rental companies have had little to say on the subject, making it difficult to gauge just how widespread the practice is.

And there’s “no real way to control what your customer does when they’ve taken possession of it (a vehicle),” unless a problem arises.

Their reticence may stem from an interest in servicing the market down the road, as has been done in some U.S. jurisdictions where Uber is regulated and operating legally.

Written by Comments Off on Car involved in crash last month was a rental illegally being used as an Uber Posted in Shangox Taxi News

UberX car involved in crash was a rental

Avis-owned car hit by an SUV during police chase was being used illegally to carry customers.

By: City Hall Bureau, Published on Tue Apr 19 2016

A silver Malibu involved in a crash during a police chase in downtown Toronto last month was a rental driven by a 39-year-old UberX driver, the Star has learned.

Last month, police were pursuing a black Acura SUV in a chase that ended in a collision with the UberX car, sending eight people to hospital.

There were four occupants in the Uber X vehicle, according to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which investigates whenever an interaction with police results in serious injury, death or sexual assault allegation.

Toronto police and SIU investigations into the incident are ongoing.

Alice Pereira, of Avis Budget Group, confirmed an UberX driver carrying passengers was behind the wheel of one of its cars — even though the rental contract specifically excludes anyone from using the vehicle to pick up passengers for money.

“It is a clear violation of the rental agreement to utilize a rental vehicle to carry passengers or property for hire. We are cooperating with the Toronto police on the matter,” she wrote in email.

UberX is an app-based service that uses private vehicles to carry paying passengers. City council will vote next month on whether to set up a two-tier system to govern both the taxi industry and transportation network companies such as Uber.

Philomena Comerford, president and CEO of Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers LP, said any renter using a rental vehicle “conceivably exposes the rental car company, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists to uninsured claims.”

The rental car company can argue that it did not give consent for the vehicle to be used to carry paying passengers and therefore “the legal entanglements will be inevitable.”

Rita Smith, of the Toronto Taxi Alliance, said that when an UberX driver uses a rental car it is “a total violation of everything Uber says they do to inspect cars, drivers’ ownership, registration, insurance etc.,” she wrote in email.

“If this fellow was able to be driving a rental which could not have satisfied any of Uber's supposed requirements, how reliable is Uber's system on the whole?”

Uber Canada spokeswoman Susie Heath stated the company does not allow rental cars to be used on the UberX app.

“Our internal registration and rigorous checks processes help prevent such vehicles from gaining access to the platform,” she wrote.

If a customer reports the UberX driver, or vehicle, is different than registered, Uber’s “response team” can cut off his or her continued access to the app.

Craig Hirota, of the Associated Canadian Car Rental Operators, said Tuesday the major car rental companies have had little to say on the subject, making it difficult to gauge just how widespread the practice is.

And there’s “no real way to control what your customer does when they’ve taken possession of it (a vehicle),” unless a problem arises.

Their reticence may stem from an interest in servicing the market down the road, as has been done in some U.S. jurisdictions where Uber is regulated and operating legally.

More on thestar.com

Licensing and Standards Committee consideration on April 14, 2016

A New Vehicle-for-Hire Bylaw to Regulate Toronto's Ground Transportation Industry
Public Notice Given
Recommendations
The Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, recommends that:

 

PART 1 – Create a Vehicle-for-Hire Bylaw

 

  1. City Council direct that the bylaws governing taxicabs and limousines, and the directions arising from this report, be combined to create a Vehicle-for-Hire bylaw that governs taxicabs, limousines and Private Transportation Companies (PTC), based upon the following recommendations.

 

  1. City Council direct the Executive Director of ML&S to report back to the Licensing and Standards Committee within one year from the date of enactment of the new bylaw, with an update on the implementation and outcomes of the bylaw.

 

PART 2 – Vehicle-for-Hire Accessibility Strategy

 

  1. City Council endorse the goal of achieving an inclusive and accessible vehicle-for-hire industry that will ensure that all Toronto residents and visitors have equal access to Toronto's vehicle-for-hire industry.

 

  1. City Council accelerate the number of accessible taxicabs available for on-demand metered service to 25% of the taxicab fleet by 2021 by authorizing the issuance of up to 200 incremental TTLs to drivers on the waiting list for each of the next five years, effective immediately.

 

  1. City Council waive licence application and renewal fees for TTL, Wheelchair accessible taxicab owners, and any taxicab owner who has a D409 compliant wheelchair accessible vehicle, effective immediately and retroactive to January 1, 2016.

 

  1. City Council waive training fees for taxicab drivers and owners who want to be trained to drive accessible taxicab vehicles, effective immediately.

 

  1. City Council mandate that any PTC that has more than 500 vehicles affiliated with or registered to provide transportation services be required to provide wheelchair accessible service to the public, in accordance with the following:

 

  1. Accessible PTC services means that wheelchair accessible vehicles are available when requested within wait times that are comparable to non-accessible services and at fares that are the same as basic non-accessible services.

 

  1. "Comparable wait times" means that the time elapsed between the passengers request for service and the arrival of a vehicle at the passenger’s location in response to that request for service is no more than the “average industry wait time” for non-accessible services, as determined annually by the Executive Director, ML&S.

 

  1. The PTC will report on accessible service delivery, including information on average wait times of accessible PTC vehicles, in a frequency prescribed and form approved by the Executive Director, ML&S.

 

  1. City Council require that all drivers of accessible vehicle-for-hire services complete a training program that meets the criteria set out by the Executive Director of ML&S, including refresher training.

 

  1. City Council direct the Executive Director of ML&S to report back to the appropriate standing committee on a strategy to collect funds from all non-accessible vehicles-for-hire to provide incentives to increase the number of on-demand, metered accessible taxicabs available to the public.

 

PART 3 – Proposed Changes to Taxicab Regulations

 

Taxicab Fares and Taxicab Brokers:

 

  1. City Council permit Taxicab Brokerages to offer rates discounted from City-regulated rates if the passenger books the trip through the Taxicab Brokerage, effective immediately, where:
  1. the taximeter can display the applicable rate to be charged for that trip;
  2. the broker has set and posted its rates and/or discounts for taxicabs; and
  3. the rate charged does not exceed the maximum fare as calculated by the meter at the City-regulated rates.

 

  1. City Council not require that Taxicab Brokers pay the taxicab driver the difference between the discounted or flat rate and the City-regulated rate, effective immediately.

 

  1. City Council require that taxicabs charge the City-regulated taxicab rate when a customer either street-hails or uses a cabstand to hire a taxicab and direct the Executive Director of ML&S to review the rate within the year.

 

  1. City Council permit the use of electronic taximeters that meet security criteria and other standards to be established by the Executive Director of ML&S, and remove the current requirement to seal taximeters, effective immediately.

 

Taxicab Ownership and Licensing:

 

  1. City Council delete the required minimum owner-operator hours for Ambassadortaxicab, Toronto Taxicab, and Wheelchair Accessible taxicab owners.

 

  1. City Council delete the requirement that a Toronto Taxicab Licence be issued upon the sale of a Standard or Ambassador taxicab.

 

  1. City Council direct that all Ambassador taxicabs be deemed to be Standard Taxicabs, effective immediately.

 

  1. City Council direct that when a Standard taxicab vehicle is sold, the new purchaser may be issued a Standard taxicab licence, subject to meeting the requirements of a qualified purchaser.

 

  1. City Council remove restrictions that prohibit a person from owning more than one taxicab.

 

  1. City Council remove the provisions that restricts taxicab owners from incorporating.

 

Taxicab Drivers:

 

  1. City Council replace the existing taxicab and limousine driver licence classes and create a new "Vehicle-for-Hire Driver" licence class to permit licensed drivers to operate either taxicabs or limousines to be issued to all new taxicab or limousine driver applicants and to all existing taxicab or limousine drivers at the time of their licence renewal.

 

  1. City Council direct amendments to the Drivers' Waiting List:
  1. Remove the annual filing requirements for drivers to maintain their place on the Drivers' Waiting List; and
  2. Freeze the Drivers' Waiting List effective May 4, 2016 (for those who are in good standing as at that date).

 

  1. City Council direct the Executive Director, ML&S to report back once all drivers on the Drivers' Waiting List have been offered the opportunity to obtain a Toronto Taxicab licence with a proposal to address future taxicab licence issuance, as necessary.

 

Taxicab Vehicles, Inspections, and Insurance:

 

  1. City Council amend taxicab vehicle requirements by permitting Ambassador and Standard taxicabs, effective immediately, to:
    1. be any four-door vehicle, and removing the requirement for low emission/hybrid vehicles;
    2. be no more than 7 model years old, but be permitted to be licensed at any time within the 7 model years; and
    3. carry a maximum of 7 passengers plus the driver.

 

  1. City Council direct that the requirements for all taxicab vehicles to attend initial and semi-annual mechanical and fitness inspections at the City inspection centre, and attend all other inspections as necessary, remain.

 

  1. City Council authorize the Executive Director, ML&S to undertake a review of the taxicab vehicle inspection process to assess options and the feasibility of alternative vehicle inspection programs, including undertaking any pilot programs, as appropriate.

 

  1. City Council delete the requirement that snow tires be installed each winter.

 

  1. City Council require that any advertising on taxicabs not interfere with or reduce visibility of taxicab identification and remove requirement that advertising on taxicabs be approved by ML&S.

 

  1. City Council direct that the existing requirement for taxicab vehicles to carry insurance at $2,000,000 dollars of liability coverage to protect passengers and drivers is retained.

 

Taxicab Training:

 

  1. City Council delete the requirement that owners and drivers of non-accessible taxicabs complete initial and refresher training programs to obtain a licence, effective immediately.

 

  1. City Council delete the requirement that taxicab drivers and owners complete CPR training and First Aid certification as a condition of licensing, effective immediately.

 

  1. City Council delete the requirement for command of the English language as a condition of licensing, effective immediately.

 

Taxicab Management:

 

  1. City Council establish a new licensing class for "Taxicab Operators". A Taxicab Operator is an individual or corporation responsible for the management or control of a taxicab vehicle on behalf of the owner. The Taxicab Operator may be listed as a co-owner of the vehicle used as a taxicab on the vehicle registration.

 

  1. City Council require that individuals or corporations licensed as a Taxicab Operators must:
  1. rent taxicabs to licensed vehicle-for-hire drivers on a shift basis only;
  2. maintain a list of licensed drivers who are renting taxicabs from the Taxicab Operator and keep records for 12 months;
  3. maintain records that detail date and time of which taxicab was rented by which driver and keep records for 12 months;
  4. ensure that each taxicab:

i. is free from mechanical defects;

ii. is properly equipped as per the bylaw;

iii. has a clean exterior and interior;

iv. is in good repair as to its exterior and interior;

  1. provide an itemized receipt to drivers for shift rentals, and maintain records of receipts for a minimum of one year;
  2. ensure that place of business complies with zoning and all other applicable bylaws; and
  3. provide records described above to ML&S within 5 business days of request.

 

  1. City Council require that any individual or corporation who enters into an agreement assuming responsibility for the management or control of a vehicle operating as a taxicabmust hold a Taxicab Operator's Licence.

 

  1. City Council permit a Taxicab Operator to enter into agreements to manage or control more than one taxicab at a time.

 

  1. City Council prohibit more than one Taxicab Operator from managing or having control of a single taxicab vehicle at any one time.

 

  1. City Council require that a taxicab owner remains responsible for ensuring that the taxicab is maintained and managed in a manner that is compliant with the requirements of the Vehicle-for-Hire Bylaw, even when the owner engages a Taxicab Operator.

 

  1. City Council require that taxicab owners file notice with ML&S if they have entered into an agreement with a Taxicab Operator, and ensure that this information remains current by advising ML&S in writing within 7 days of any change, in a form approved by the Executive Director, ML&S.

 

  1. City Council direct that the effective date for implementation of the Taxicab Operator's licence be July 15, 2016, and permit a one year phase-in of the requirements, and that the application requirements for the licence be as prescribed in the general provisions of the bylaw.

 

  1. City Council delete provisions governing lease agreements between taxicab owners and lessees.

 

  1. City Council delete provisions regarding designated agents and designated custodians.

 

PART 4 – Proposed Changes to Limousine Regulations

 

Limousine Broker Regulations:

 

  1. City Council replace the Limousine Service Company licence class with a Limousine Broker licence class, and require that Limousine Brokers:

 

a.  set and post rates for limousines;

b.  post business contact information for the public;

c.  only dispatch licensed limousines driven by individuals holding valid Vehicle-for-Hire driver’s licence;

d.  keep records of every vehicle dispatched for 12 months, including:

 

i. Date and time of dispatch;

ii. Pick-up location and destination of every trip (by reference to closest intersection); and

iii. Name of limousine driver and owner.

e.  provide ML&S a list of all drivers and owners who contract or are affiliated with the Limousine Broker, including the limousines' licence plate numbers, and file any changes with ML&S within 72 hours;

f.  keep a record showing the total number of requests for service received;

g.  provide records as described above to ML&S within 5 business days of request; and

h.  define a Limousine Broker includes a "person" or multiple persons who, acting together, carry on the business of a limousine broker, despite the fact that no single one of those persons carries on the activity in its entirety, and such persons shall be subject to § 545-2A, and may be held jointly and severally responsible for each other's actions.

 

Limousine Fares:

 

  1. City Council permit Limousine Brokers to set limousine rates, and delete the current minimum fare of $70 per hour for the first two hours.

 

Limousine Ownership:

 

  1. City Council delete the current licence issuance requirement of a stretch to sedan fleet ratio, and permit Limousine Brokers to determine the appropriate type and number of licensed limousines required for their business.

 

  1. City Council require that all Limousine Owners affiliate with a Limousine Broker.

 

Limousine Operation:

 

  1. City Council require that all Limousine trips be booked through a Limousine Broker. Limousines are not permitted to solicit rides or respond to street-hails.

 

  1. City Council delete the requirement that limousines be booked 20 minutes in advance of a trip.

 

Limousine Vehicles, Inspection, and Insurance:

 

  1. City Council amend Limousine vehicle requirements by:
    1. permitting any four-door vehicle with a seating capacity of up to seven passengers plus the driver, except the passenger restriction does not apply to stretch limousines purpose-built or modified to provide an extended seating area; and
    2. imposing a seven year restriction on the age of a vehicle to be operated as a limousine, except a stretch limousine for which an eight year restriction applies.

 

  1. City Council delete the requirement for limousine vehicle inspections to be conducted by the City and require:

a.  Limousine owners to file a valid Safety Standard Certificate issued by a Ministry of Transportation-licensed garage authorized to undertake such inspections upon application, and annually thereafter;

b.  limousine drivers to carry the original or a copy of the most recent Safety Standards Certificate in the vehicle at all times; and

c.  limousine drivers to produce the Safety Standards Certificate upon request of a Municipal Standards Officer or police officer.

 

  1. City Council direct that all existing requirements for limousine vehicles, not amended, be retained such as:
    1. current insurance requirements for limousines at $2,000,000 of liability coverage to protect passengers and drivers; and
    2. prohibition from having a roof light or any markings that could make the vehicle look like a taxicab.

 

Limousine Training:

 

  1. City Council delete the requirement for limousine owners and drivers to complete the initial and refresher training programs as a condition of licensing, effective immediately.

 

  1. City Council delete the requirement for limousine owners and drivers to complete CPR training and obtain First Aid certification as a condition of licensing, effective immediately.

 

  1. City Council delete the requirement for command of the English language as a condition of licensing, effective immediately.

 

PART 5 – Proposed Regulations for Private Transportation Companies (PTCs)

 

Private Transportation Company Licensing:

 

  1. City Council establish a new licensing class "Private Transportation Companies" or "PTCs" that regulate:
    1. Any person who offers, operates, or facilitates transportation services for compensation using software, an application, or a telecommunications platform (a “Platform”) to communicate with passengers and PTC Drivers.
    2. Any person facilitating transportation that satisfies the definition of carpooling pursuant to the Public Vehicles Act will not be a PTC; and
    3. In this definition "person" includes multiple persons who, acting together, carry on the business of a PTC, despite the fact that no single one of those persons carries on the activity in its entirety, and such persons shall be subject to § 545-2A, and may be held jointly and severally responsible for each others' actions.

 

  1. Any PTC offering, operating, or facilitating transportation commencing within the City requires a PTC licence.

 

  1. City Council require that, at the time of their application for a PTC Licence, the PTC submit in an electronic format satisfactory to the Executive Director, ML&S, information sufficient to describe or demonstrate:
    1. the legal relationship between any persons that, acting together, carry on the business of a PTC, if applicable to an applicant;
    2. that the PTC will have the ability to meet minimum data security and data provisions to ML&S as per the business licence requirements;
    3. that the PTC has appropriate agreements, contracts and/or processes in place to screen the criminal and driving histories of drivers providing transportation to passengers through the PTC’s Platform, and to provide such provisions to ML&S per the licence requirements;
    4. that the PTC maintains and can produce, as and when required by ML&S or law enforcement, all records in accordance with the licence requirements;
    5. that the PTC maintains and will provide regular daily or weekly updates to the City the records of drivers that have contracted with it to provide services through the PTC’s Platform;
    6. the PTC’s registered business address in the Province of Ontario; and
    7. an indemnity in favour of the City of Toronto from and against claims, demands, losses, costs, damages, actions, suits, or proceedings that arise out of or are attributable to the PTC's business and services.

 

  1. City Council require that all PTC licences under the Vehicle-for-Hire bylaw be issued subject to a six-month probationary period. During the probationary period, the Executive Director, ML&S, may conduct random audits or investigations to evaluate compliance with the bylaw and suspend or place conditions upon the licence, with a hearing, for up to 14 days at his or her discretion if he or she has reasonable grounds to conclude that the continued operation of the business poses an immediate danger to health or safety of any person or to property.

 

  1. City Council require that a PTC licence be renewed annually. At the time of each renewal, the PTC will be required to provide documentation sufficient to satisfy the Executive Director, ML&S that it has and will continue to meet the PTC licencerequirements.

 

PTC Record Keeping:

 

  1. City Council require that, for licensing enforcement purposes, the PTC provide ML&S with daily electronic records of drivers, in an industry standard  format as specified by ML&S. Records to include the following information about drivers providing transportation services to passengers travelling within or from the City:
  1. Driver full name;
  2. Driver Provincial licence plate number;
  3. Driver licence number; and
  4. Make and model of vehicle.

 

  1. City Council require that a PTC:

a.  prior to the collection of any personal information, obtain consent for the collection and potential disclosure of personal information to the City for the purposes permitted by the bylaw from individuals applying or registering as drivers to provide transportation services to passengers within or from the City;

b.  maintain Criminal Record checks and Driver's Records checks for all drivers permitted by the PTC to provide transportation commencing in the City;

c.  maintain records of completion and renewal proving that driver successfully meets Screening Criteria, as mandated by the City;

d.  comply with any request for the foregoing information or any request for reports based on the foregoing information that are made by the Executive Director, ML&S;

e.  provide the information requested in the format prescribed by the Executive Director within 30 days of the request; and

f.  be prohibited from imposing a mandatory arbitration clause on individuals accepting or making requests for service commencing in Toronto through the PTC or requiring the law of the Netherlands to be applied in relation to use of the PTC Platform in Toronto.

 

  1. City Council require that a PTC maintain business records that include the following information:

a.  For trips involving one passenger commencing or terminating in the City:

i.  pick up location and destination (by reference to the intersection);

ii.  date/time the trip commenced and terminated; and

iii.  length of time elapsing between the passenger’s service request and commencement of the trip.

b.  For trips involving more than one passenger/fare commenced or terminating within the City:

i.  total number of passengers paying separate fares;

ii.  pick up location(s) and destination(s) (by reference to the intersection) for each trip;

iii.  date/times the trip commenced and terminated;

iv.  length of time that elapsed between the time the passenger(s) requested service and the trip commenced for each passenger;

v.  the fare(s) paid for the trip; and

vi.  number of trips involving multiple passengers paying separate fares.

c.  Where requests made for trips to commence or terminate in the City that were not provided as a result of driver cancellation:

i.  Pick-up location and destination (by reference to the intersection); and

ii.  date/time the trip was requested.

d.  Average bi-directional PTC traffic volumes by roadway link on an hourly basis.

 

  1. City Council require that a PTC maintain and provide driver and vehicle records for all trips commencing in the City, including:

a.       driver name;

b.      vehicle licence plate number;

c.       type of service;

d.      total hours/minutes the driver was available to provide transportation services through the Platform for requested time period;

e.       data reflecting the following periods:

i.      Period 1: time period beginning when a PTC Driver has logged onto a PTC Platform and indicated that they are available to receive or agree to passenger trip requests;

ii.      Period 2: time period beginning when a PTC trip is arranged and concluding when a PTC Driver has arrived at a location to pick up a passenger; and

iii.      Period 3: time period beginning when a PTC Driver picks up a passenger(s) and concluding when the passenger(s) has arrived at their destination(s).

 

  1. City Council require the PTC to submit to audits of their records as requested by the Executive Director, ML&S.

 

  1. City Council require that where information is needed for law enforcement purposes, the PTC must make records available within 24 hours.

 

  1. City Council require the PTC to keep records for a minimum of three years.

 

  1. City Council require PTCs to provide a phone number and e-mail address to which the City may send any communications, including any requests for information required to be provided pursuant to the bylaw and the name of the individual responsible for receiving such communications.

 

  1. City Council require PTCs to create passenger and driver accounts for use by the City for law enforcement purposes, upon request, and prohibit the PTC from obstructing access to those accounts.

 

  1. City Council require a PTC to disclose on its Platform and make available for the public:
  1. rates to be charged;
  2. the criteria applied by the PTC to drivers and vehicles allowed to operate on or through the Platform;
  3. information on the types or categories of services available to passengers through the Platform and the distinctions between these categories or types of service, if any, including whether drivers registered or affiliated with the PTC and providing service in any category are licensed by ML&S;
  4. a plain-language explanation of their insurance coverage, including detailed information on how to initiate a claim; and
  5. advise that personal information collected by the PTC may be disclosed to the City for the purposes of licensing enforcement when the passenger obtains transportation services within or from the City.

 

PTC Driver Requirements:

 

  1. City Council define a PTC Driver as any person providing transportation to passengers for compensation through a PTC. Persons providing transportation that meets the definition of carpooling under the Public Vehicles Act shall not be defined as PTC Drivers.

 

  1. City Council require the PTC to ensure that permitted PTC Drivers are at least 18 years old and hold unrestricted Class G Ontario driver's licence.

 

  1. City Council require that in advance of allowing drivers to use the PTC Platform, the PTC must  require that drivers:

a.       provide a current copy of their Ontario Drivers Licence and vehicle registration;

b.      must pass Screening Criteria as prescribed by the Executive Director of ML&S;

c.       provide confirmation that their personal insurance company has been advised that they offer or intend to offer transportation through a PTC;

d.      consent to disclosure of all information provided to PTC to the City and/or law enforcement if requested by City or law enforcement for the purpose of auditing compliance with the bylaw, investigating complaints or potential breaches of the bylaw, or general law enforcement purposes;

e.       only permit the owner of a vehicle to be offering transportation through the Platform or confirmation that the owner understands that they are legally responsible for any contraventions of the bylaw when their vehicle is being operated to deliver rides through the PTC Platform.

 

  1. City Council prohibit PTC drivers from picking up passengers at cabstands, soliciting rides, and responding to street-hails, and hold both the PTC and PTC Driver responsible for any contravention of this prohibition.

 

  1. City Council require that upon request of Municipal Standards Officers, PTC Drivers produce:

a.       driver licence;

b.      proof of applicable insurance; and

c.       evidence of a trip in progress or the last completed trip.

 

PTC Vehicles, Inspections and Insurance:

 

  1. City Council require that vehicles used to provide transportation through a PTC (“PTC Vehicles”) have four doors, and be no more than 7 model years old.

 

  1. City Council require that all PTC Vehicles pass annual mechanical inspections, as prescribed by the Ministry of Transportation, including:

a.       PTC vehicle owner to file a valid Safety Standard Certificate issued by a Ministry of Transportation-licensed garage authorized to undertake such inspections upon application, and annually thereafter;

b.      PTC drivers to carry the original or a copy of the most recent Safety Standards Certificate in the vehicle at all times; and

c.       PTC drivers to produce the Safety Standards Certificate upon request of a Municipal Standards Officer or police officer.

 

  1. City Council require a PTC Vehicle owner or driver to submit their vehicle for inspection by a licensed mechanic within 24 hours of being directed by ML&S to do so, and prohibit the PTC driver from providing transportation until a mechanic has provided a Safety Standards Certificate confirming that the vehicle is fit to be driven.

 

  1. City Council prohibit PTC Vehicles from having a roof light or any markings that could make the vehicle look like a taxicab or identify it as available for hire.

 

  1. City Council require that a PTC ensure all PTC drivers and vehicles have Automobile Liability Insurance with limits of not less than $2,000,000 inclusive per occurrence for bodily injury, death, and damage to property, and inclusive of such requirements as set out below in the body of the report.

 

  1. City Council require a PTC to have commercial general liability business insurance coverage of at least $5,000,000, and inclusive of such requirements as set out below in the body of the report.

 

PTC Fares:

 

80.  City Council permit PTC to set rates for fares, and require them to:

a.       clearly and transparently communicate the amount of all rates to be charged; and

b.      ensure a record is maintained that the passenger accepted the rate prior to the trip commencing.

 

81.  City Council require that before a trip commences, a PTC must provide passengers with the following information:

a.       vehicle make and model;

b.      PTC Driver first name;

c.       PTC Driver's licence plate number; and

d.      PTC Driver photo, upon request.

 

82.  City Council require a PTC to provide a print or electronic receipt to the passenger at the conclusion of every trip. The receipt provided must include information on:

a.       All rates, fees and/or surcharges charged for the trip;

b.      Total amount paid;

c.       Date and time of trip;

d.      Location at which the passenger was picked up and location to which the passenger was driven;

e.       Driver first name and provincial licence plate number; and

f.       Total time and distance of trip.

 

PART 6 – Increased Penalties for Breaches of Licensing Requirements

 

  1. City Council establish special fines that may apply in addition to the regular fine imposed  for a contravention of the bylaw where it is determined that the conduct could have resulted in economic advantage or gain to the party found to have breached the bylaw.

 

  1. City Council require that the maximum penalty provisions apply to licensees who fail to comply with any provisions related to record retention, record disclosure to ML&S, or audits.

 

  1. City Council establish that directors or officers of a corporation knowingly concurring in the contravention of any offence under the bylaw by the corporation are guilty of an offence.

 

PART 7 – Administrative Recommendations

 

  1. City Council delegate to the Executive Director, ML&S, the authority to issue interpretation bulletins or guidelines on matters relating to the Vehicle-for-Hire bylaw when enacted from time to time, as she or he deems advisable or necessary.

 

  1. City Council delegate to the Executive Director of ML&S, the authority to establish policies and guidelines with respect to public safety and to establish thresholds for criminal and background screening, driving record checks, and other standards applicable to the issuance and renewal of all Vehicle-for-Hire licences and to a driver's access to and use of a PTC Platform, referenced as "Screening Criteria" as outlined in Attachment 2.

 

  1. City Council remove all existing restrictions on exclusive concession agreements and permit all licensees governed by the Vehicle-for-Hire bylaw to contract with property owners to provide exclusive services at particular locations, effective immediately.

 

  1. City Council authorize the City Solicitor to review and make revisions to the remaining parts of the bylaw to ensure consistency with provisions that are governed by other municipal and provincial legislation.

 

  1. City Council approve amendments to reduce administrative requirements by deleting sections in the bylaw, as described in Attachment 3.

 

  1. City Council direct the City Solicitor to import all relevant general provisions, excluding Appendix K, and including all taxicab and limousine related schedules and articles from the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 545, Licensing, to facilitate the creation of the new Vehicle-for-Hire Bylaw, as prescribed, and including amendments as deemed necessary.

 

  1. City Council direct that the City Solicitor may report directly to Council for instructions if, in the course of drafting the bylaw, she determines that there are provisions or issues relating to taxicab, limousine, or PTC licensing on which further instruction is appropriate.

 

 

PART 8 – Licensing Fees

 

  1. City Council amend Chapter 441 to reflect revised Taxicab and Limousine licensing fees, retroactively effective January 1, 2016, detailed in Attachment 4.

 

  1. City Council amend Chapter 441 by adding a new Vehicle-for-Hire Drivers licensing class:

a.       Application fee: $290

b.      Annual Renewal fee: $290

 

  1. City Council amend Chapter 441 by adding a new Taxicab Operators licensing class:
  1. Application fee: $500
  2. Annual Renewal fee: $300

 

  1. City Council amend Chapter 441 by adding a new Private Transportation Company licensing class with a scalable licensing fee structure of:

a.       Application fee: $20,000 (non-refundable);

b.      Provisional licence issuance fee of $10 per Driver: calculated based on the number of affiliated PTC Drivers at licence issuance;

c.       Per trip fee: $0.20 per trip originating in Toronto, submitted weekly and commencing the date that the provisional licence is issued;

d.      3-month provisional licence fee of $10 per Driver: calculated based on average number of affiliated PTC Drivers in the preceding 3-month period, less the provisional licence issuance fee paid on date of provisional licence issuance; and

e.       Licence renewal fee: calculated based on the number of affiliated PTC Drivers in the 3-month period prior to licence renewal.

 

  1. City Council direct the Executive Director, ML&S to undertake the work necessary to issue any refunds resulting from the retroactive fee reductions and/or the waiving of existing fees.

 

  1. City Council approve a net overall increase to ML&S divisional complement by 10 FTE comprised of 5 permanent and 5 temporary full-time FTE.

 

  1. City Council direct the Executive Director, ML&S to take efforts to manage expenditures to mitigate the 2016 financial impact associated with the timing of the proposed changes.

 

100. City Council direct the Executive Director, ML&S to report through the 2017 budget process on full-year budget impacts of the proposed changes.

 

Other Recommendations:

 

101. City Council direct that all provisions of the new Vehicle-for-Hire bylaw, including the amendments to licensing fees in Chapter 441, will come into effect on July 15, 2016 unless otherwise stated.

 

102. City Council request the Ministry of Finance to approve new flexible insurance products for the taxicab industry.

 

103. City Council request the Province of Ontario to make amendments to the Highway Traffic Act to strengthen enforcement powers and amend penalties in relation to municipal vehicle-for-hire bylaws, including the ability to:

  1. tie outstanding violations to plate denial;
  2. issue higher fines (not less than $500 and no more than $30,000);
  3. apply demerit points for non-compliance; and
  4. impose administrative licence suspensions.
Origin
(March 31, 2016) Report from the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards
Summary
This report outlines a series of recommendations that, taken together, form a new framework for equitable regulation within the vehicle-for-hire industry. This framework is founded on the City’s regulatory purpose and interests of public safety and consumer protection, and accelerates the City’s commitment to ensuring the availability of inclusive accessible service within the vehicle-for-hire market.

 

This framework will respond to the public’s request for choice in regulated transportation options and provide an opportunity for the City to shift from prescriptive regulation to an approach based on established standards, accountability and monitored compliance through audit and enforcement. It is anticipated that this approach will enable operational flexibility and provide industry participants with an equal opportunity to provide quality service in a competitive market, while maintaining the City’s municipal regulatory purpose.

 

There are currently more than 45,000 trips per day taken by the public in unregulated vehicles-for-hire. Appropriate regulation governing this industry is a critical public safety matter. The development of this new regulatory framework ensures that these vehicle-for-hire participants are regulated, as are taxicabs and limousines, balancing the City regulatory interests with existing industry practices.

 

This report proposes a reset of the City's approach to regulation, and in some cases adjusts the City's role as it relates to the direct delivery of service. The proposed framework aims to address public safety and consumer protection, while also providing an opportunity to: develop efficiencies, allow competition, reduce regulatory burden for taxicabs and limousines, and implement regulations for a new 'Private Transportation Company' (PTC) licence class, which would permit and regulate private vehicles to offer transportation services, such that UberXprovides.

 

Current vehicle-for-hire regulations have a lengthy, complex, and complicated history. For decades, the City of Toronto and jurisdictions around the world have heavily regulated their taxicab industries and, to a lesser extent, their limousine industries. The Toronto taxicab industry, in particular, has been the subject of repeated reviews which have steadily increased the nature and extent of the regulatory involvement in the industry. One of the key contributors to this has been the restricted issuance of licences which has constrained the number of taxicabs permitted to operate, and has also prevented other transportation service providers from entering the market.

 

Despite numerous attempts by the City to address issues within the taxicab industry, including two comprehensive reforms in the past 18 years, many within the industry continue to identify issues of poor working conditions and the improper conduct of industry participants/middlemen. These previous regulatory reviews have been focused on regulations meant to address consumer complaints, unsafe driving practices, and fairness among industry participants.

 

One of the most reformative reviews of the Toronto taxi industry was the 1998 review, which created the Ambassador Taxicab licence, and made numerous amendments to the existing licence class (Standard Taxicabs) to move the industry toward an “owner-operator” model. This change was meant to enhance the quality of taxicab services by reducing the number of "middlemen" and limiting absentee licence owners.

 

Despite this reform and those resulting from the 2014 Taxicab Review, many taxicab drivers continue to indicate that they are not being fairly treated and further indicate that much of the profits within the industry are being shared amongst middlemen and owners who may not be directly involved in the business. This has a direct negative impact on the City’s objectives of promoting consumer protection and public safety to the extent that the existing financial structure undermines or does not incentivize behaviours that are consistent with the City’s goals.

 

Staff maintain the belief that owner operated vehicles-for-hire provide the most cost efficient operating model and in many cases, provide a better quality service. In this respect, a recommendation is being made to issue new incremental accessible taxicab licences (TTL) to taxicab drivers on the waiting list.

 

However, given the changed context of the vehicle-for-hire market and in the interests of providing an equitable level of regulation, staff are recommending the elimination of the owner-operator oriented regulations as they apply to taxicabs.

 

With the availability of more opportunities for vehicle-for-hire drivers and with increased competition amongst vehicle-for-hire industries, a mandated "owner-operated" taxicab industry model no longer achieves the intended regulatory efforts to protect consumers and ensure public safety. These changes will also recognize the manner in which many within the taxicab industry are already organized operationally and will provide additional flexibility to the industry.

 

 This report proposes a new Vehicle-for-Hire Bylaw that:

 

  • regulates taxicabs, limousines, and companies such as Uber in an equitable manner;
  • reduces regulatory burden, while maintaining requirements for public safety and consumer protection;
  • builds on existing plans to secure accessible vehicle-for-hire services; and
  • provides opportunities for competition and innovation.

Overview of Vehicle-for-Hire Bylaw

The recommendations in this Report are aimed at creating a regulatory regime for taxicabs, limousines, and Private Transportation Companies (PTC) based on measures appropriate to balance consumer protection, public safety, and the economic wellbeing of the City. Key regulations are as follows:

 

1. Fares

Staff recommend that taxicabs continue to charge the current City regulated rate for all trips taken through street-hail or at cabstands. If a taxicab is booked through a Taxicab Broker, the rate may be discounted by the Taxicab Broker, subject to specific conditions designed to ensure transparency in the pricing. Limousine Brokers and PTCs will be permitted to set rates to be charged which may vary in different time periods, but passengers must accept the rate before the vehicle is dispatched.

 

2. Accessibility

Staff recommend a multi-pronged approach to ensure accessible vehicle-for-hire service. This approach proposes:

  • increasing the number of accessible taxicabs to 25% of the taxicab fleet by issuing additional TTLs to drivers on the waiting list;
  • waiving licence application and licence renewal fees for accessible taxicabs;
  • waiving accessible training fees for licensed taxicab drivers and owners;
  • requiring PTCs to deliver equitable accessible service; and
  • reporting back on a strategy to collect money from all non-accessible vehicles-for-hire to incentivize the delivery of accessible taxicab service through mechanisms that offset the increased operating costs of accessible taxicabs.

 

3. Number of Vehicles-for-Hire

Staff recommend continuing to limit the number of taxicab licences issued. It is recommended that the City not impose a limit on the number of limousine licences or number of vehicles affiliated with a PTC.

 

4. Taxicab Licensing

Staff recommend reducing the regulatory burden on taxicabs by reducing the number of taxicab owner licence categories and eliminating certain current licensing requirements to increase flexibility. This approach proposes:

  • removing mandatory minimum owner-operator hours for all taxicab owners;
  • removing requirements for mandatory conversion of an Ambassador taxicab and Standard taxicab to a Toronto Taxicab upon sale of taxicab;
  • permitting Ambassador taxicabs to be converted to Standard taxicabs upon renewal or sale; and
  • removing taxicab ownership restrictions that prevent incorporation and ownership of multiple taxicabs.

At the same time, staff recommend the creation of a new licensing category “Taxicab Operator”, which will recognize and regulate the operations of lessees and fleets operating taxicabs to regulate and hold accountable the actual “operator” of the taxicab for such things as vehicle maintenance and records management of taxicabs under their control.

 

5. Vehicles

Staff recommend permitting any four-door vehicle less than 7 (seven) model years old for use as a taxicab, limousine, or PTC vehicle.

 

Taxicabs will continue to be subject to semi-annual, City-run mechanical inspections, and will be required to meet all existing vehicle quality standards. Limousines would no longer attend the City for semi-annual inspections, but would instead be required to submit an annual Safety Standards Certificate issued by a Ministry of Transportation licensed garage upon renewal. A PTC will be responsible for ensuring that all vehicles affiliated with it submit an annual Safety Standards Certificate issued by a Ministry of Transportation licensed garage upon application, and annually thereafter.

 

Recommendations seek to authorize enforcement staff to issue a notice and/or direct any vehicle-for-hire to undergo a mechanical safety inspection at their discretion.

 

Staff are requesting authority to undertake a review of options and the feasibility of transitioning taxicabs to an alternative inspection process, such as that being recommended for limousines and PTC vehicles.

 

Due to the independent and anonymous nature of street-hail and cabstand taxicab service, taxicabs continue to be the only vehicle-for-hire that is required to have a taximeter, a roof light, a camera, an emergency light, markings that identify it as a taxicab, and a Taxicab Bill of Rights. Staff are proposing to establish a Taxicab Vehicle Quality Standard, which will provide clarity and transparency to service providers, and address the public's interest in vehicle conditions.

 

6. Drivers

Staff recommend harmonizing taxicab and limousine driver licences to create one “Vehicle-for-Hire Driver's Licence” that will permit drivers to operate taxicabs or limousines.

 

All persons wishing to operate as taxicab, limousine or PTC drivers would be required to meet the same criminal background and driver screening requirements, as established by the City.

 

The City would continue to collect and screen the applicants for taxicab and limousine drivers. A PTC would assume responsibility to collect and screen the applicants for PTC drivers, and be required to submit or make available on an ongoing basis, electronic records of permitted drivers, where the records of the PTC will be subject to audit from the City.

 

Staff recommend reducing the barrier to entry to become a licenced taxicab or limousine driver by eliminating the mandatory City-run training for all taxicab and limousine drivers and owners, with the exception of drivers of accessible for-hire vehicles.

 

7. Insurance

All taxicab and limousine vehicles are currently required to carry a minimum of $2 million of collision and passenger hazard insurance. PTC vehicles will also be required to carry a minimum of $2 million of collision and passenger hazard insurance. In addition, PTCs will be required to carry $5 million of commercial general liability insurance.

 

Overarching Purpose of Recommended Changes

This report outlines the recommended changes to the existing legislation governing the taxicab and limousine industries, and recommends the development of regulation to govern new entrants being named Private Transportation Companies.

 

This review has provided the opportunity to refocus and reset the City’s approach to regulating the taxicab and limousine industries and to propose the regulation of PTCs, aiming to establish an equitable and appropriate level of regulation that balances the interests of diverse stakeholders. The proposed changes will remove constraints that have prevented the expansion of vehicle-for-hire services in the past, foster competitiveness, allow taxicabs and limousines to develop efficiencies, and reduce regulatory burdens.

Financial Impact
This report outlines a proposed new vehicle-for-hire regulatory framework, which will require a shift in the roles and responsibilities needed to administer, regulate and enforce such a regulatory regime. This change will result in the repurposing of existing resources and an overall net increase of 10 FTE to the ML&S 2016 approved complement (5 permanent and 5 temporary full-time).

 

It is anticipated that an additional $1.316 million in annual expenditures will be required to implement this new regulatory framework.

 

-An additional $0.400 million in one-time start-up costs will also be required for investment in IT infrastructure needed for Private Transportation Companies record keeping.

 

Existing Taxicab and Limousine licensing fees will also be adjusted; and new licensing fees for PTC implemented, based on the full costing review of the new regulatory framework, as conducted by a third party consultant.  All fee changes have been detailed in Attachment 4 to this report.

 

These fee changes as reflected in the table below will result in the following:

 

-Reduce fees and associated revenue collected from Taxicab and Limousine licensing;

-Implement a new fee to fully recover ML&S's administration and enforcements costs resulting from regulatory oversight of PTCs; and

-An overall increase in annual revenues of $1.316 million, which offsets increased annual costs associated with the proposed new vehicle-for-hire regulatory framework.

 

The impact of these fee changes are reflected in the table below:

 

Category ($000s) Budgeted Revenue* Proposed Revenue Total Revenue Change
Taxicab Licensing $10,146 $8,241 -$1,905
Limousine Licensing $1,094 $861 -$234
Private Transportation Company Licensing N/A $3,455 $3,455
Total Revenue Impact: $11,240 $12,556 $1,316

*Budgeted Revenue includes the impact of the 2016 freeze to Taxicab Licensing ($222,000 revenue impact)

 

While the recommendation contained in this report are cost/revenue neutral on an annual basis, it is estimated that the timing of the proposed changes will result in a 2016 unfavourable variance of $580,000, plus and up to $400,000, in additional one-time start-up cost that will need to be managed through expenditure control.

 

-The potential 2016 variance primarily results from the reduction to Taxicab and Limousine fees retroactive to January 1st, 2016, while new fees applicable to PTCs cannot be implemented until Council approval of the new vehicle-for-hire regulatory framework, estimated to be July 1, 2016. Any delay in the implementation will increase the variance.

 

All costs and revenue assumptions are based on current volume estimates associated with the proposed framework. ML&S staff will monitor activity monthly and report quarterly throughout the year as part of variance reporting.

 

-The Executive Director of ML&S, will manage expenditures as required based on any variance identified through monthly monitoring.

-Any further adjustments to expenditures and/or revenues will be addressed as part of the 2017 Budget Process.

 

The Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer has reviewed this report and agrees with the financial impact information.

Background Information
(March 31, 2016) Report from the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards on A New Vehicle-for-Hire Bylaw to Regulate Toronto’s Ground Transportation Industry
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/ls/bgrd/backgroundfile-91911.pdf)
Attachment 1 - Jurisdictional Scan of Canadian Municipalities
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/ls/bgrd/backgroundfile-91912.pdf)
Attachment 2 - Vehicle-for-Hire Bylaw Screening Criteria
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/ls/bgrd/backgroundfile-91913.pdf)
Attachment 3 - Amendments to Reduce Administrative Requirements Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 545
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/ls/bgrd/backgroundfile-91914.pdf)
Attachment 4 - Ground Transportation Review Fee Changes
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/ls/bgrd/backgroundfile-91915.pdf)
Public Notice - Proposed amendments to Chapter 545, Licensing, Article VII, Taxicab Brokers, Chapter 545, Licensing, Article VIII, Owners and Drivers of Taxicabs, Chapter 545, Licensing, Article XXXIX, Owners and Drivers of Limousines and Limousine Service Companies and Chapter 441, Fees and Charges
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/ls/bgrd/backgroundfile-91887.pdf)
Communications
(April 6, 2016) E-mail from Tenzin Dorjee (LS.New.LS10.3.1)
(April 7, 2016) E-mail from Andrew Hwang (LS.New.LS10.3.2)
(April 7, 2016) E-mail from Peter Athanasopoulos, Spinal Cord Injury Ontario (LS.New.LS10.3.3)
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/ls/comm/communicationfile-59850.pdf)
(April 8, 2016) E-mail from G. Turner to Councillor Mike Layton and copy to Licensing and Standards Committee (LS.New.LS10.3.4)
(April 8, 2016) E-mail from Wendy Pauling (LS.New.LS10.3.5)
(April 9, 2016) E-mail from Tom Bilski re-submitting his letter dated September 28, 2015 to Councillor Sarah Doucette and copy to Licensing and Standards Committee (LS.New.LS10.3.6)
(April 11, 2016) E-mail from Anil Saini (LS.New.LS10.3.7)
(April 12, 2016) Letter from Gerry Manley (LS.New.LS10.3.8)
(April 12, 2016) E-mail from D.F. Ayotte (LS.New.LS10.3.9)
(April 13, 2016) E-mail from Don Ayotte (LS.New.LS10.3.10)
(April 13, 2016) Letter from Mike Masserman, Senior Director, Federal and International Government Relations, Lyft (LS.New.LS10.3.11)
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/ls/comm/communicationfile-59888.pdf)
(April 14, 2016) Letter from Bryan Purcell, Director of Policy and Programs, Toronto Atmospheric Fund (LS.New.LS10.3.12)
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/ls/comm/communicationfile-59871.pdf)
(April 13, 2016) E-mail from Tyrone D. Crawford, LL.B., submitted by Issa Elmi (LS.New.LS10.3.13)
(April 14, 2016) E-mail from 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, 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; and Mohammed Mirza, President, Bangladeshi Taxi Drivers' Association (LS.New.LS10.3.14)
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/ls/comm/communicationfile-59873.pdf)
(April 14, 2016) Letter from Councillor Jim Karygiannis (LS.New.LS10.3.15)
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/ls/comm/communicationfile-59874.pdf)
(April 14, 2016) Letter from Al Moore (LS.New.LS10.3.16)
(April 14, 2016) E-mail from Leonarda Omrin (LS.New.LS10.3.17)
(April 14, 2016) E-mail from Ratan Roy (LS.New.LS10.3.18)
(April 14, 2016) E-mail from Sandeep Bering (LS.New.LS10.3.19)
(April 13, 2016) E-mail from Jutta Treviranus (LS.New.LS10.3.20)
(April 14, 2016) E-mail from Philomena Comerford, President and CEO, Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers LP, submitted by Rita Smith, Executive Director, Toronto Taxi Alliance  (LS.New.LS10.3.21)
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/ls/comm/communicationfile-59894.pdf)
(April 14, 2016) E-mail from Tim Maguire, President, Cupe Local 79, submitted by Casey Oraa, President's Secretary, CUPE Local 79  (LS.New.LS10.3.22)
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/ls/comm/communicationfile-59895.pdf)
(April 14, 2016) E-mail from Alan Waterhouse, Chairman and Professor Emeritus, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Toronto  (LS.New.LS10.3.23)
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/ls/comm/communicationfile-59875.pdf)
(April 15, 2016) Letter from Chris Schafer, Uber Public Policy Manager - Canada  (LS.New.LS10.3.24)
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/ls/comm/communicationfile-59903.pdf)
(April 12, 2016) Letter from Imran Chowdhury, Toronto Taxi Drivers Forum (LS.New.LS10.3.25)
(April 13, 2016) Letter from Tyrone D. Crawford, Tyrone D. Crawford LLB, submitted by Mohamed Barrie (LS.New.LS10.3.26)
(April 15, 2016) Submission from Hayley Steinhart (on file in the City Clerk's Office)  (LS.New.LS10.3.27)
Speakers
Luke Anderson, Stop Gap
Peter Athanasopoulos, Senior Manager, Public Policy and Government Relations, Spinal Cord Injury Ontario
Tracy Schmitt
Shafiul Hoque
Amardeep Singh
Larry Labovitch, City Taxi Toronto
Paul Sekhon, President, United Taxi Workers Association
Behrouz Khamseh, Secretary, United Taxi Workers Association
Jaswinder Mundi, Director, United Taxi Workers Association
Khalil Shahinjouy, Independent Taxi Driver
Mohamud Hassan
Javid Wali
Danny Ryan
Mohamed Farah
Savi Sekhon, City Taxi
Majeed  Shidfar
Sam Moini
Remzi Bekri
Alireza Ghaemmaghami
Ryan Malfara
Spencer Burger
Siobhan O'Shea
Tim Maguire, President, CUPE Local 79
Sarabjit Singh
Jim Jackson
Steve Anemi
Al Moore
Neil Robert Shorey, Assistant General Manager, City Taxi
Gail Souter, President, Beck Taxi Ltd.
Kristine Hubbard, Operations Manager, Beck Taxi Ltd.
Kuljit Singh
Nick Arvanitakis
Sajid Mughal, President, Taxi Workers Association
Lino Lombardo
Mohammed Mirza, President, Bangladeshi Taxi Driver Association, Vice President, United Taxi Workers Association of the GTA
Nawaid Jalal
Andy Reti
Imran Chowdhury, Toronto Taxi Drivers Forum
Nicholas Tatsis
Tekle Enghida
Mohammad Reza Hosseinioun
Latif Gowher
Hillel Gudes
Peter Mandronis
Rostandinos  Anagnostopoulos
Michael Tranquada, President, Independent Toronto Taxi Inc
Nick Schiavone
Judi  Barr
Bill Chantzis
Zakir Hossain, Secretary, Bangladeshi Taxi Drivers Association
Mahpubul Alam, Vice President, Bangladeshi Taxi Drivers Association
Peggy Abraham
Mohamed Barrie
Mohammad Ejaz Butt
Mohammed Hakimzadah, Owner and President, A Airport Taxi Services Inc and ABC Ambassador Taxi Services Inc
Alan Burke, President, East Beach Community Association
Frank Nast
Joseph Nazar
Hayley Steinhart
Felix Oladimeji
Councillor Janet Davis
Councillor Jon Burnside
Councillor Anthony Perruzza
Councillor Frances Nunziata
Councillor John Campbell
Councillor Mike Layton
Motions
1 - Motion to Defer Item moved by Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti (Lost)
That consideration of the item be deferred.
2 - Motion to Set Committee Rule moved by Councillor Cesar Palacio (Carried)
That speakers who have not pre-registered be allowed to register to speak until 10:30 a.m. on April 14, 2016, after which no further registration is allowed and the speakers list will be closed.

 
3 - Motion to Set Committee Rule moved by Councillor Cesar Palacio (Lost)
That the length of public presentations be limited to 3 minutes.
4 - Motion to Set Committee Rule moved by Councillor Cesar Palacio (Amended)
That questions to staff from Members of Council (including Committee Members) take place after the public deputations, be 5 minutes in total, with one round of questions per Councillor.

 
5 - Motion to Set Committee Rule moved by Councillor Cesar Palacio (Carried)
That questions of speakers by Members of Council (including Members of the Licensing and Standards Committee) be limited to 3 minutes, with one round of questions per Councillor.

 
6 - Motion to Set Committee Rule moved by Councillor Cesar Palacio (Amended)
That speaking times for all Members of Council be 5 minutes, with one round of speaking per Councillor.
7 - Motion to Amend Motion moved by Councillor Jim Karygiannis (Carried)
That Motion 5 by Councillor Palacio be amended by replacing, "one round" with "three rounds",  and  replacing "in total" with per round", so that the motion reads as follows:

 

"That questions to staff from Members of Council (including Committee Members) take place after the public deputations, be 5 minutes per round, with three rounds of questions per Councillor."
8 - Motion to Amend Motion moved by Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti (Carried)
That Motion 6 by Councillor Palacio be amended by replacing "5" with "10", so that the Motion now reads:

 

"That speaking times for all Members of Council be 10 minutes, with one round of speaking per Councillor."

 
9 - Motion to Set Committee Rule moved by Councillor Cesar Palacio (Carried)
1.  That speakers who have not pre-registered be allowed to register to speak until 10:30 a.m. on April 14, 2016, after which no further registration is allowed and the speakers list will be closed.

 

2.  That the length of public presentations be limited to 5 minutes.

 

3.  That questions of speakers by Members of Council (including Members of the Licensing and Standards Committee) be limited to 3 minutes, with one round of questions per Councillor.

 

4.  That questions to staff from Members of Council (including Committee Members) take place after the public deputations, be 5 minutes in total, with three rounds of questions per Councillor.

 

5.  That speaking times for all Members of Council be 10 minutes, with one round of speaking per Councillor.
10 - Motion to Amend Motion moved by Councillor Cesar Palacio (Carried)
That

 

1. re-consideration of parts 4 and 5 be permitted;

 

2. parts 4 and 5 be amended as follows:

 

"4. That questions to staff from Members of Council (including Members of the Committee) take placee after the public deputations, be three minutes, with one round of questions per Councillor.

 

5. That speaking times for all Members of Council be five minutes, with one round of speaking per Councillor."
a - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker (Carried)
That Recommendation 9 in the report (March 31, from the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards be amended to read:

 

"9. City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to report back to the appropriate standing committee on a strategy to collect funds from all non-accessible vehicles-for-hire- to provide incentives to increase the number of on-demand, metered accessible taxicabs available to the public as well as creating a working group composed of stakeholders (such as staff in the Equity, Diversity and Human Rights Office) and accessibility experts and advocates to, amongst other issues, develop a funding program and process that will advance inclusive on-demand ground transportation for all users."
b - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker (Carried)
That City Council direct that the qualifications for taxicab, limousine and PTC vehicle drivers include a requirement that all drivers licensed by the City of Toronto be 21 years of age or older, hold a valid Ontario driver's license, and have at least one year driving history.
a - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti (Lost)
That City Council direct that all taxicabs and ride share vehicles be painted the same colour and direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to select a series of colour options, conduct a public vote and select the final colour in accordance with the results; and that Recommendation 77 in the report (March 31, 2016) from the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, be amended accordingly.

 
b - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti (Carried)
That Recommendations in the staff report be adopted with the following exceptions: 1, 4, 7, 10, 11, 23a, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 47, 48, 49, 51 to 82, 87, 88, 90 to 96, and 98.

 

Councillor DeBaeremaeker requested a separate vote on Recommendations 14-19 in the staff report, which carried.

 

The Chair ruled that Recommendations 26, 31 and 53 were redundant having regard for the results of previous votes.
a - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Frank Di Giorgio (Carried)
That:

 

1.  The City continue to regulate the taxicab, limousine and private vehicle-for-hire industry by ensuring that all owners and drivers of taxicabs, limousines and private vehicles-for-hire vehicles for hire that provide transportation services in the City require a licence issued by the City.

 
a - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Jim Karygiannis (Withdrawn)
1.  That Recommendation 23(a) in the report (March 31, 2016) from the Executive Director Municipal Licensing and Standards be amended to read:

"… a.  Be any four-door vehicle"

 

2.  That Recommendation 60f in the report (March 31, 2016) from the Executive Director, Municipal Standards and Licensing, be amended to read:

"f. be prohibited from imposing a mandatory arbitration clause on individuals accepting or making requests for service commencing in Toronto through the PTC or requiring the law of any jurisdiction other than Ontario be applied in relation to use of the PTC Platform in Toronto."

3. That Recommendation 71 in the report (March 31, 2016) from the Executive Director, Municipal Standards and Licensing, be amended to read:

“71. City Council require that in advance of allowing drivers to use a PTC Platform,
the drivers must provide the following to Municipal Licensing & Standards Division…”

 

4.  That Recommendation 71 in the report (March 31, 2016) from the Executive Director, Municipal Standards and Licensing, be amended by adding a requirement that PTC drivers provide a criminal record check to the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards.
5.  That Recommendation 71c in the report (March 31, 2016) from the Executive Director, Municipal Standards and Licensing, be amended to read:

“…c. Provide directly to the Municipal Licensing & Standards Division proof of commercial insurance collision and passenger hazard insurance”

6.  That Recommendation 75 in the report (March 31, 2016) from the Executive Director, Municipal Standards and Licensing, be amended to read:
“a) City Council require all PTC vehicles to attend initial and semi-annual mechanical and fitness inspections at the City Inspection centre, and attend all other inspections as necessary.

7.  That Recommendation 78 in the report (March 31, 2016) from the Executive Director, Municipal Standards and Licensing, be amended to read:

 

“78. City Council require that all PTC drivers and vehicles have Commercial Automobile Liability Insurance with limits of not less than $2,000,000 inclusive per
occurrence for bodily injury, death, and damage to property, and inclusive of such requirements as set out below in the body of the report.”

8. That Recommendation 94 of the report (March 31, 2016) from the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards be amended to read:

"94. City Council amend Chapter 441 by adding a new Vehicle-for-Hire Drivers licensing class:

a. Application fee: $500

b. Annual Renewal fee: $300”
9.  That Recommendations 1-3, 5-25, 27-30, 32-52. 54-59, 60 as amended, 61-70, 71 as amended, 72-74, 75 as amended, 77, 78 as amended, 79-87, 89-93, 94 as amended, 95-103 be adopted,

b - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Jim Karygiannis (Carried)
That every vehicle used as a taxicab, limousine or private vehicle-for-hire shall be equipped with four snow tires every year from December 1st to March 15th.
c - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Jim Karygiannis (Carried)
That City Council require that all taxicab, limousine and private vehicle for hire drivers be able to communicate in English.
d - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Jim Karygiannis (Carried)
That Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 545 be amended to require that, in addition to taxicabs, all  limousines and PTC Vehicles have a camera system installed.
e - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Jim Karygiannis (Carried)
That the definition of "CAMERA SYSTEM" set out in Chapter 545 be amended to read as follows:

"A camera system with minimum specifications approved by the Municipal Licensing and Standards Division, capable of recording images of persons in a taxicab, limousine or PTC vehicle, such that access to the images is limited to law enforcement personnel authorized by the Executive Director, the Executive Director, and the vehicle’s registered brokerage, for the purposes of law enforcement, training, or customer service investigations.
f - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Jim Karygiannis (Carried)
That City Council direct that a $0.10 levy from each taxicab, limousine and PTC vehicle fare be paid to be applied for the development of an Accessibility Fund to be administered by the Municipal Licensing and Standards Division, with the proceeds from such a Fund to be used to provide a grant to licensed taxicab, limousine or PTC vehicle drivers who wish to purhase a wheelchair accessible vehicle.
g - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Jim Karygiannis (Redundant)
That City Council require that:
(a)  any owner of a taxicab, limousine, or private vehicle for hire providing transportation to passengers be licensed under the Vehicle for Hire By-law, and
(b) the driver of  any taxicab, limousine, or private vehicle for hire providing transportation to passengers be licensed under the Vehicle for Hire By-law
h - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Jim Karygiannis (Carried)
That City Council re-establish the Taxi Advisory Committee.

Written by Comments Off on Licensing and Standards Committee consideration on April 14, 2016 Posted in Shangox Taxi News

Nick Kouvalis, who helped put Ford and Tory in office, charged with impaired driving

The political mastermind tweeted about his struggles with alcohol and an accident, for which a newspaper report says he faces a drunk driving charge.

Nick Kouvalis has been charged with impaired driving. CARLOS OSORIO / TORONTO STAR

Nick Kouvalis, a political mastermind behind the election of both Toronto Mayor JohnTory and Rob Ford, says he had a “timely wake-up call” on the weekend after an accident near his home in southwestern Ontario.

The Windsor Star reported Monday that Nectarios Kouvalis, 40, of Amherstburg, was charged with drunk driving after a grey Lexus crashed into a concrete culvert in Tecumseh.

“Since 2011, I’ve been struggling with alcohol addiction. I was hopeful that after a stint in rehab and regular attendance at AA meeting that I had it under control,” Kouvalis wrote in a series of Twitter messages posted Monday afternoon.

“It has become apparent I do not. This weekend, I had an accident and thankfully no one was … injured,” he wrote.

“I am grateful I have received this timely wake up call and look forward to starting my journey to permanent sobriety.”

Tory called the matter unfortunate, “both in the standpoint of public safety and his own personal fortunes. Otherwise, the matter’s before the courts,” the mayor said Monday at Toronto City Hall.

“I haven’t (spoken to Kouvalis since he was charged). He acknowledged . . . that he’s had personal issues and those are very challenging for anyone to deal with, including him, and I just wish him well in dealing with it, as I would anybody. He’s a very smart man and he’s acknowledged he has some issues — and you hope people who have those issues, whoever they are, will be able to deal with them,” Tory said.

The newspaper said Essex OPP reported arresting a man at the scene when he showed signs of being drunk. Kouvalis is charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle and exceeding 80 milligrams blood alcohol content.

The Windsor Star asked Kouvalis by phone about the charges. He declined to comment, saying he “can’t talk about that.”

The Toronto Star was not immediately able to reach Kouvalis or the OPP.

The Windsor Star says he is scheduled to appear in court on May 4.

Written by Comments Off on Nick Kouvalis, who helped put Ford and Tory in office, charged with impaired driving Posted in Shangox Taxi News

Committee scraps proposed Uber regulations

BY , TORONTO SUN

FIRST POSTED: | UPDATED:

A proposal to regulate Uber has been gutted but will move on for a key debate at city council in May.

Members of the licensing and standards committee voted to approve the report that set out to regulate the ridesharing firm and create an “even playing field” for the taxi industry. But before doing so, the committee ripped out every clause that dealt with Uber.

It was about sending a message, Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti said.

“(The committee's changes) would put Uber in a very difficult position to be able to continue the work that they’re doing,” he said.

“Council needs to understand that it’s a very delicate issue, a very complex issue and it’s not one to just vote yes or no to. They have to do their homework and research.”

If city council were to pass the amended staff report, it wouldn’t regulate Uber and would effectively undo many of the taxi rules introduced over the past 14 years. Mammoliti conceded city council could reverse every change made by the committee Friday.

“Council is supreme,” he said.

Councillor Jim Karygiannis said the committee’s work was about ensuring Torontonians are safe. Over the course of two days, they listened to over 100 speakers, most of whom were taxi drivers who don’t want Uber operating.

“There is overwhelming support to send it to council pretty well killing Uber,” he said.

“If council decides, in its own wisdom, to overlook the work of the committee, so be it.”

Earlier in the day, Uber filed a submission to the committee, saying it supports the report’s recommendations overall. But the company also said the proposed rules would create too much red tape.

“One too many seemingly innocuous pieces of regulatory red tape that don’t serve to advance a core pillar such as public safety risks putting ridesharing on life-support,” the Uber submission says.

Uber objects specifically to three of the report’s proposals:

— A ban on the use of vehicles over seven years old.

— The fees for applications and licences, which Uber says will see the city pocket $5 million a year.

— Requirements to share trip data with the city.

sjeffords@postmedia.com

Licensing and Standards Committee – April 15, 2016

Licensing and Standards Committee – April 14 Meeting

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

Written by Comments Off on Top 10 recommendations to L&S on new report: from the Taxi Industry Posted in Shangox Taxi News

Taxi Action calls for Tracey Cook’s resignation:

 

Media Release

Taxi Action calls for Tracey Cook’s resignation:

“Cabdrivers do not need to speak English?”

April 11, 2016 – (Toronto) – Having taken time to review the MLS report released on April7th, Behrouz Khamseh of Taxi Action says it is clear that Toronto must demand the resignation of Tracey Cook, Executive Director of Municipal Licensing and Standards.

“Taxpayers have paid Cook’s salary, almost $200,000 per year, for years now and she comes up with a recommendation that Toronto taxi drivers do not need to speak English?” Khamseh asks in astonishment.

“Truly, this must be the most ludicrous and ridiculous statement any bureaucrat has ever come up with,” he says. “And our tax dollars paid for it. It’s pathetic.”

Khamseh disagrees with several other recommendations in the report – including the suggestion that training for taxi drivers is not necessary, and that the requirement for snow tires be eliminated.

“However, while you may read the report line-by-line and find hundreds of things to disagree with, you don’t need to. Simply stop reading at the recommendation that taxi drivers in Toronto do not need to be proficient in English. That tells you everything you need to know about this report: it is garbage, and Tracey Cook must resign immediately. She knows nothing about the taxi industry, the City of Toronto, or reality,” Khamseh says.

-30-

For more information, contact Behrouz Khamseh at 416-453-3236 or torontotaxiaction@gmail.com

Toronto’s sellout to Uber takes us back to the days of bandit taxis: James

New regime for Uber drivers frees them from rules about driver training, snow tires, strict inspections and price-gouging.

Once upon a time, bandit taxis roamed Toronto streets in unsafe, unregulated vehicles.

The modern taxi bandit is back. Officially. With city imprimatur. Disguised as a respectable, benign, mayor-backed, citizen-loved, warm and fuzzy transportation service.

Increasingly, Uber drivers have been offering competing taxi service — unencumbered by the very regulations that ended the old bandits; cheaper, too; and very attractive to the app-addled populace hinged to cashless smartphone transactions.

And, on Thursday, a Toronto staff report sanctioned and enhanced Uber’s existence — even as staff claimed its recommendations create a new regime that is fair and equitable to the legal taxis that the city created through regulation in place for decades.

Don’t buy the propaganda.

And be especially skeptical as a parade of city councillors, spurred on by the mayor, roll out cynical endorsements of the new rules. In fact, the recommendations would compromise public safety and threaten the very viability of the cab industry the city created.

Barring an unexpected public backlash, these rules will pass at city council before the next heat wave. The mayor signaled this from the outset. People prominent in his election campaign have turned Uber lobbyists. Go figure.

The new rules are an effective sellout of the taxi industry — not that the majority of the populace care when the public’s reflex motivation is cheaper fares. Asked how the recommendations are not an utter capitulation to Uber, licensing director Tracey Cook said they were not. So there.

Judge for yourself.

Taxi drivers must still pay $290 to get a licence and pay a $290 annual licensing fee. Uber’s is covered by a one-time $20,000 fee to the company for all drivers (current numbers stand at 15,000 drivers) and $10 per driver employed by the company, plus a fee of 20 cents per ride.

Councillor Jim Karygiannis puts it this way: The city collects $8 million from 5,000 cabbies now. If Toronto applied the same fee rate to the 15,000 Uber drivers, the haul would be $24 million. Instead, the city will collect only $3.5 million because of the lower Uber fees.

Taxi drivers would continue to be screened by the city and monitored for criminal background and driver record. Uber would be allowed to monitor its own drivers and disclose their record only if audited.

Taxis must go through two city-run mechanical inspections a year. Uber cars are to meet safety standards, but the Uber safety certificate can come from any licensed mechanic. We know how that works.

Nothing more clearly underscores the abeyance to Uber than these two simple matters: snow tires and driver training.

Have we not been hearing how important snow tires are — to the point that some advocate the province should make them mandatory? The city made them mandatory for taxis, until now.

Toronto doesn’t want to impose this on Uber drivers, so safety be damned. Taxis? Just forget the snow tires.

Taxi drivers must go through mandatory training so when they hit the streets they are good ambassadors and know the city. (If they fall short now, blame the taxi school.) Such training sounds like a good thing. But, oops, we don’t want to impose that on Uber drivers, so let’s scrap it altogether. How is that good for citizens?

There is more.

Surge pricing is among Uber’s most odious practices, because it gouges citizens with higher fares at precisely the time they are most vulnerable. Taxis are not allowed to impose higher fares when demand is higher. So, does the city propose the same rules on Uber?

That would suggest a leveling of the playing field, so no. Uber can continue to charge what it wants when it wants. Taxis? They can charge less than the going meter rate for trips booked online or on the phone, They can’t impose surge pricing. And they must charge the meter rate when hailed on the street.

Yes, we know the new technology isn’t going away. But don’t try to insult our intelligence by saying these are laudable proposals.

The reforms leave us with cars that are less safe, drivers with poorer training, the gutting of the plan to make all cars accessible, an extra 1,000 cabs that will further damage the value of cabbies’ investment and destroy the viability of the business model, a flood of new Uber cars for hire that will only lead to a plethora of part-time drivers and not enough money in the industry to sustain it.

In other words, they just killed the cab industry.

A new entity will evolve, no doubt. Wanna bet that the millionaires who now run the industry will be replaced by a billionaire or two? And the money will fly away, offshore.

Then we will see if fares remain low.

Royson James usually appears Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Email:rjames@thestar.ca

Written by Comments Off on Toronto’s sellout to Uber takes us back to the days of bandit taxis: James Posted in Shangox Taxi News

Toronto to propose separate rules for Uber, taxis

Regulations to be proposed by Toronto city staff Thursday will include a separate category for services like Uber.

Cabbies and UberX drivers would face different rules for vehicle inspections, police checks and more under long-awaited proposed City of Toronto regulations to be unveiled Thursday.

Sources say the intent is to accommodate UberX and any other ride-sharing services that dispatch private vehicle owners via an app, while loosening regulations on the traditional taxi industry. Protections for cab drivers, many of whom do not own their vehicles, means some deregulation would be phased in.

Taxi industry leaders — who have demanded a single set of rules for both cabs and private vehicles dispatched via ride-hailing app such as Uber — on Wednesday rejected the city report before it was released.

Rita Smith, executive director of the Toronto Taxi Alliance, said: “We want the same rules for all and would be gravely disappointed, and a little skeptical, that Uber, which is supposed to be super competitive, can’t compete on a level playing field and needs a special set of rules.”

Sources say more than a dozen recommendations include:

  • Requiring UberX vehicles be inspected annually at provincially certified garages, while cabs would still need twice-annual inspections at city-run facilities. The reasoning, one source said, is many cab owners don’t drive their cars, and drivers are concerned that owners would find ways to scrimp on inspections unless forced to use city garages. City staff will, however, propose a pilot project whereby cabs could be inspected at accredited private garages.
  • Both kinds of drivers would be subject to criminal record checks but Uber, not the city, would collect the results for UberX drivers, to be presented upon request by a city inspector. The city says that is akin to the way restaurants are responsible for ensuring servers are certified, and can be audited any time. Different kinds of UberX audits would happen daily.
  • Cab drivers’ licensing and training fees would be reduced in an effort to level the playing field.
  • Taxi companies, which now charge strictly regulated fares, would be allowed to discount prices on app- or phone-dispatched rides to remain competitive with Uber.
  • Only cabs would be allowed to pick up people hailing a ride on the street, said Mayor John Tory, in an interview Wednesday from San Francisco as he was about to leave for Asia on a trade trip.

Tory dismissed the idea there should be one set of regulations for all.

“The notion that the regulations were ever going to be exactly the same — you are dealing with two different businesses,” Tory said.

“Our goal is to provide equitable rules for the two parts of the industry and choice for the customers.”

Councillor Jim Karygiannis, city council’s most outspoken Uber critic and taxi defender, said he saw the report Wednesday and is not satisfied. He refused to discuss specifics but said “it’s disheartening, what I’ve seen.”

Whether Uber likes what it sees depends on the details — the company approves of specialized rules in Edmonton, but rejects those approved by Calgary’s council.

Despite her unhappiness with what she’s hearing about the two-tier system, Smith did not foresee drivers rushing to the streets in raucous anti-Uber protests like those seen in December, and which were threatened for February’s NBA all-star weekend.

“These proposed regulations have to go to city council, and we know for a fact there are a ton of city councillors who will have nothing to do with replacing safety standards,” Smith said.

At Queen’s Park on Wednesday, Premier Kathleen Wynne said she is watching cities including Ottawa, which last week released its proposed regulations, and now Toronto try to accommodate technological change.

“The sharing economy is here to stay. We have to make sure how everyone is safe, how to make sure consumers are protected . . . ” Wynne said.

“At some point, (the Ontario government) will bring forward a provisional framework. But I do think it is important to recognize that the municipalities need to take the lead on this.”

With files from Betsy Powell and Robert Benzie

More on thestar.com

Keb Mo ” Last fair deal gone down

Insurers should share stats on Uber endorsements sold: cabbie

The Facility Association doesn't insure any Uber drivers

Insurance for Ontario Uberites may exist now but, taxi associations say, it doesn’t mean drivers are buying it.

“We are well aware from industry conversations that a minuscule number of unlicensed drivers will purchase these products, if in fact any ever do,” Gail Souter, president of the Toronto Taxi Alliance, wrote in a letter to FSCO. “They have managed to drive passengers for compensation for months or years without notifying their insurance companies, and they have no plan to change their behaviour now.”

In January, Top Broker learned that theFacility Association––which was the only insurance market for Uber drivers beforeAviva Canada got into the game in February––doesn’t insure any Uber drivers.

Of course, products from Aviva––and Intact, which announced it was developing Uber insurance in September––are likely to much more affordable.

“Licensed taxi drivers are not only required to pay for commercial insurance, they must present proof of insurance to maintain their license,” Souter wrote. “UberX drivers should be required to do exactly the same thing; otherwise, this entire special ‘ride hailing endorsement’ is simply smoke and mirrors.”

Souter and Marc Andre Way, president of the Canadian Taxi Association, are calling for insurers to report the number of Uber endorsements sold and explain to FSCO how they ensure drivers don’t drive commercially for more than the hours they’re insured for. The associations also want FSCO to release these statistics to municipalities to “give politicians more accurate information on which to base their debates and decisions.”

“As it is still early days in our offering of ride-sharing coverage, we are unable to share numbers on the pick-up of the product,” Aviva spokesperson Glenn Cooper told Top Broker in an email. “I can tell you that we are pleased with the interest so far.”

Written by Comments Off on Insurers should share stats on Uber endorsements sold: cabbie Posted in Shangox Taxi News

Shangox Mourns Rob Ford

REST IN PEACE MAYOR ROB FORD

The Toronto taxi industry has lost a great friend in Rob Ford. Rob Ford was a great mayor of Toronto despite his many shortcomings. We have lost a true pal.

Rest in peace Rob Ford, no longer will the Toronto Star taunts and attack touch you. You fought a good fight and run a good race and now you are free to soar.

We love and will miss you

 

UberX car collateral damage in high-speed police chase of an SUV

Three were seriously injured after the collision around 3 a.m. Sunday, involving a vehicle fleeing police and an UberX car. SIU investigators say the vehicle fleeing police contained five teenagers.

A high-speed police chase involving an SUV ended early Sunday morning in a collision with another vehicle — an UberX car carrying passengers — an arrest, and eight people sent to hospital.

Three of those were seriously injured, according to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which investigates whenever an interaction with police results in serious injury, death or sexual assault allegations.

SIU investigators say the black Acura SUV, which was the vehicle fleeing police, contained five occupants, two of which were 16-year-old males (one was the driver), two of which were 17-year-old females, and one of which was a 15-year-old male.

There were a total of four occupants in the Malibu Uber X vehicle. One of them was a 39-year-old male driver, one was a 38-year-old male, one was a 32-year-old female, and one a 27-year-old female.

The chase began shortly before 3 a.m. at York St. and Bremner Blvd., when police tried to pull a black Acura SUV over, but the driver didn’t comply.

Sterling Cloe, who was spending the night on Bay St. south of Front St. and unable to sleep because of the cold, estimated that the car, followed by four or five police cruisers and possibly more unmarked ones, whizzed by at about 100 kilometres per hour, heading north.

“They were flying,” said Cloe, who was still sitting on Bay St. opposite Union Station later Sunday morning. While he didn’t see the crash occur, “You could hear it; it was like a thunderbolt,” he said, later comparing the sound to “an oil tanker exploding.”

According to the SIU, only two vehicles were involved. The UberX car, a silver Chevrolet Malibu, was travelling west on Wellington St. when it was struck by the black SUV.

SIU stated that injuries among the various occupants include multiple fractured bones.

“There was one person who fled and was arrested a short while later . . . right after,” SIU spokesperson Jason Gennaro told the Star. It’s unclear whether the person arrested was one of the eight taken to hospital.

As of early Sunday evening, the SIU had not announced any charges.

Cloe said a man in plain clothes introduced himself as a police officer investigating the scene and told him the vehicle involved in the chase had been stolen. But neither Toronto police nor the SIU would confirm to the Star the reasons for the chase.

Late Sunday morning, the remains of the crash remained on the stretch of Bay between King and Wellington Sts. The nose of the black Acura was flattened and shattered glass covered the ground around it. A few yards behind it, the silver Malibu was leaning up against a pole, pointed in the opposite direction. One of its doors lay ripped off, next to it. Its bumper had apparently been hurled to the opposite side of the street.

UberX, an app-based service that uses private vehicles to carry paying passengers, is not currently regulated under city bylaws that govern the taxi industry, and how its insurance coverage works remains murky. In January, the insurance company Aviva announced a plan to provide coverage for UberX drivers, but the policy has not been formally filed with regulators.

Uber spokesperson Susie Heath said every ride on the UberX platform in Canada is insured. “We also have a well-established claims process — upon being notified, we work with our riders and partners on properly resolving any accident claim,” Heath said in an emailed statement.

“In the event of an accident during an uberX trip, ridesharing partners are covered by commercial auto insurance in addition to any insurance coverage maintained by the driver-partner,” the company’s website says.

Heath added that the ride-sharing company is gathering information that may help law enforcement in the investigation and that “our thoughts are with those injured in this morning’s accident.”

On March 11, the Toronto taxi industry filed for an injunction against all UberX driversin attempt to have the ride-sharing service shut down.

 

Written by Comments Off on UberX car collateral damage in high-speed police chase of an SUV Posted in Shangox Taxi News

SIU investigates after police chase ends in downtown crash sending 8 to hospital

One person was in life-threatening condition after the collision around 3 a.m. Sunday involving a vehicle fleeing police and an UberX car.

TORSTAR NEWS SERVICE A two car collision on Bay street between front and Wellington resulted in 8 people taken to hospital. One person is allegedly quite seriously hurt.

The province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is looking into a collision involving an UberX vehicle that sent eight people to hospital early Sunday.

SIU spokesperson Jason Gennaro told reporters at the scene that at about 3 a.m., police had attempted to stop a black Acura at York St. and Bremner Blvd., but that vehicle fled. A police pursuit ensued, ending when the Acura — travelling north on Bay St. — collided with a Chevrolet Malibu, which was travelling westbound on Wellington St. Gennaro added that the Malibu was operating as an UberX vehicle carrying passengers.

Eight people were transported to area hospitals by paramedics. Gennaro said at least three people suffered serious injuries.

A woman surveys the scene from the office building at 222 Bay street.
TORSTAR NEWS SERVICE A woman surveys the scene from the office building at 222 Bay street.

“There was one person who fled and was arrested a short while later . . . right after,” Gennaro told the Star. The person was arrested, but it’s unclear, he said, whether that person was one of the eight taken to hospital. At this time, the SIU is “unable to confirm how many persons were in each vehicle.”

He added that no charges have been laid, “as far as I know of,” and that the reason police attempted to stop the Acura in the first place is “part of the investigation.”

Eyewitness Sterling Cloe said Sunday morning that in the seconds before the crash he saw a car — followed by four or five police cruisers and possibly more unmarked ones — heading north on Bay St., going at a speed he estimated at more than 100 kilometres an hour.

“They were flying,” said Cloe, who had spent the night outside and was still sitting on Bay St. opposite Union Station south of Front St., Sunday morning. “You could hear it; it was like a thunderbolt,” he said, later comparing the sound to “an oil tanker exploding.”

He didn’t see the collision, but walked up to look at the damage and said it looked like the car being chased hit another vehicle head first, then “bounced into a couple more.”

Remnants of the accident could be seen Sunday late morning, between King and Wellington Sts. The nose of the black Acura was flattened and shattered glass covered the ground around it. A few yards behind it, the silver Malibu was leaning up against a pole and was pointing in the other direction. Its bumper had apparently been hurled to the opposite side of the street.

Bay was closed Sunday between Wellington and Lake Shore Blvd. W. as the SIU continued to investigate. Wellington is also closed between Bay and Yonge Sts.

UberX is not currently operating under the same city bylaws as the taxi industry, and drivers are relying on personal-not commercial-insurance. In January, the insurance company Aviva announced a plan to provide coverage for UberX drivers, but the policy has not been formally filed with regulators. On March 11, the Toronto taxi industry filed an injunction against all UberX drivers in attempt to have the ride-sharing service shut down.

Written by Comments Off on SIU investigates after police chase ends in downtown crash sending 8 to hospital Posted in Shangox Taxi News

Can Toronto afford to pay the taxi industry over 3 billion dollars to disappear in favour of Uber?

Shangox

March 16, 2016

Listen to John Tory's opinion on taxi app technology on CBC
John H. Tory Mayor of Toronto

The Toronto taxi industry is dying. This slow agonizing process began when John Tory took the helm as Mayor of Toronto. As the head of the City of Toronto corporation, he has allowed Uber, a taxi company, to break all the rules of the taxi by-laws with impunity. Even though he has made such pronouncements as “Uber is operating outside the law”, there has been no effective enforcement against UberX’s operations, which is totally illegal.

The Toronto taxi industry is unable to compete with 20,000 illegal UberX taxis, because the competition is not fair.

The Mayor of Toronto, through manipulation, convinced Council to vote in favour of writing a new set of regulations to prop up the illegal operations of UberX.  In April of this year, Tracey Cook, the executive director of the Municipal Licensing and Standards, will reveal what these new regulations will be. Needless to reiterate, these so-called new regulations are completely unnecessary. Their only function is to buttress the illegal operations of Uber, thereby legitimizing it at the expense of the taxi industry.

Should any of these new regulations be adopted and enacted, it will spell the death of the Toronto taxi industry. It will leave 5,000 small taxi businesses, 10,000 taxi drivers, scores of fleet garage operators, and dozens of taxi brokerages all displaced in favour of Uber.

If Toronto city Councillors blindly follow John Tory in his grandiose ambition, yet myopic in scope, of displacing the taxi business in favour of his friends at Uber, then the City of Toronto corporation should be prepared to cough up over 3 billion dollars to reimburse the taxi industry, because that will be the cost.

Can Toronto afford to pay the taxi industry over 3 billion dollars to disappear? This is the conversation we want to have going forward.

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Taxi driver files application to halt UberX from operating in Toronto

Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Monday, March 14, 2016 1:24PM EDT

A Toronto taxi driver has filed an application for an injunction to stop the UberX ride service from operating in the city.

In a news release issued Monday, the driver’s lawyer said the app-based ride service contravenes the city’s bylaws and should be barred from operating. The application was filed in Ontario Superior Court Monday.

“Toronto’s bylaws are very clear: only someone licensed as a taxicab driver may operate a vehicle for hire in the city,” lawyer Jay Strosberg said in the release.

While Toronto police have laid charges against some drivers, they have said they don’t have the resources to chase down every improper transaction in the city.

City council considered filing an application for an injunction against Uber in February, but decided not to after lawyers for the city advised that such an application would be unlikely to succeed. An application filed against the service last year was thrown out by a judge in July after he found that UberX did not violate existing city bylaws.

City staff are currently in the process of drafting more comprehensive bylaws around ride-sharing services. Speaking with reporters Monday, Tory said he expects the new bylaws to be ready very soon.

“There will in fact be a draft policy brought forward next month. We’re now down to a matter of weeks,” he said.

He added that any application for an injunction will likely take months before getting to court.

“By then I hope we will be well advanced in the passage of new bylaws,” he said.

However Strosberg said that while taxi drivers welcome new bylaws, the city doesn’t nmeed to wait to enforce its current rules.

“I think it’s great that he’s looking at a new regulatory regime, but the issue of whether or not you should enforce the bylaw – they’re two different issues and I don’t think they’re mutually exclusive,” Strosberg said in an interview with CP24 Monday.

Taxi drivers have been locked in a battle with Uber and the city over the ride service’s aggressive disruption of the existing ride-for-hire market.

While taxi drivers have operated for decades under heavy municipal regulations and fees, UberX, which allows ordinary people to offer rides at rates that are often substantially cheaper, has claimed that it is not a taxi service and is therefore not subject to the same rules. Taxi drivers have said they have watched their livelihoods evaporate as they are deeply undercut.

“He’s a very hardworking man,” Strosberg said of his client. “He finds now he’s having to work double the amount of hours to earn the same net income as before Uber came into the city.”

Angry about the lack of enforcement, taxi drivers have lashed out against the city and Mayor Tory with noisy protests that have disrupted traffic along major routes.

Most recently a large group of taxi drivers threatened to protest at venues hosting events for the NBA All-Star Weekend in the city last month. That protest was averted at the last minute after the drivers agreed to “postpone” the protest.

Responding to the move on Monday, Uber spokesperson Susie Heath called the application “unfortunate.”

“Over the last year we have made significant progress in Toronto, and with new regulations coming as early as this spring, it's unfortunate that the Toronto Taxi Alliance has once again chosen to focus their efforts on stalling progress rather than working together for the best interests of all Torontonians,” Heath said in an email. “An Ontario Supreme Court ruling, ML&S, Mayor Tory and Toronto City Council have all recognized that Uber and ridesharing is a unique business in need of a new regulatory framework - we believe the best path forward for riders, drivers and our city is to continue that work to update regulations which will benefit both ridesharing and taxi alike.”

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Toronto taxi driver seeks injunction against Uber

BY , TORONTO SUN

FIRST POSTED: | UPDATED:

TORONTO - Taxi driver Sukhvir Singh Thethi is trying to do what city council has so far failed to achieve: Bring Uber to heel.

He’s going to court to seek an injunction that would bar Uber drivers from “continuing to provide taxi services.”

Last year, the city tried to put the brakes on Uber, but a judge dismissed that case.

Lawyer Jay Strosberg, who represents Tehethi, insisted things are different now that city council passed a beefed up bylaw in October 2015.

“It’s an entirely different legal landscape,” he said Monday. “What we’re looking for now is we’re asking the court to make an order effectively prohibiting all UberX drivers."

Strosberg said the taxi industry has been waiting for city council to enforce its new bylaw since January. But when council failed to endorse a call to seek an injunction, Tehethi felt he had to act.

“I don’t understand how the enforcement of laws in this city and in our province should be a matter of politics,” Strosberg said. “Particularly when the law has been so recently amended.”

Strosberg said he hopes to have the case in the courts within 60 days.

Mayor John Tory said it will take months before the case is heard and he thinks council will have a new regulatory framework in place by that time. The city didn’t move forward with further court action on advice from its lawyers, he said.

“(What) we instead have focused our energies on is something you’ll be seeing very shortly, there will in fact be a draft policy brought forward next month,” Tory said.

“By then, I hope that we’ll be well advanced on the debating and or passage of a new bylaw that will provide fairness for taxi drivers, fairness for others involved in the ground transportation industry, and choice for consumers.”

Uber Canada spokesman Susie Heath said the city’s taxi industry is stalling progress on reform.

“An Ontario Supreme Court ruling, (municipal licensing and standards), Mayor Tory and Toronto city council have all recognized that Uber and ridesharing is a unique business in need of a new regulatory framework — we believe the best path forward for riders, drivers and our city is to continue that work to update regulations which will benefit both ridesharing and taxi alike.”

sjeffords@postmedia.com

Injunction application filed to stop UberX from operating in Toronto

Action Comes After Mayor John Tory Delays Injunction Request

TORONTO, March 14, 2016 /CNW/ - An application for an injunction was filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice by a City of Toronto taxpayer, who is also a taxicab driver. The applicant is seeking an order restraining and preventing all UberX drivers from continuing to provide taxicab services for UberX in Toronto.

The legal basis for the injunction is that under the City of Toronto Act, a taxpayer may bring an application to the Court seeking an order restraining someone from conducting activities that contravene Toronto's bylaws.

A similar process was followed in Calgary where the injunction was granted.

In October 2015, Toronto's bylaws were amended and clearly state that only someone licensed as a taxicab driver may operate a taxicab in Toronto.  Under the recently amended bylaw, UberX drivers are considered taxicab drivers, but do not have the license required to legally operate a taxicab in Toronto as required by the bylaw. The law prohibits:

  • Drivers from driving passenger motor vehicles for hire in Toronto unless they are licensed by the City as a taxicab or limousine driver;
  • Drivers from driving passenger motor vehicles for hire in Toronto unless the owner of the vehicle is licensed by the City as a taxicab or limousine owner; and
  • Owners of vehicles from allowing people to drive their vehicles for hire in Toronto unless the driver is licensed by the City as a taxicab or limousine driver

Sutts, Strosberg LLP represents the Applicant.

"Toronto's bylaws are very clear: only someone licensed as a taxicab driver may operate a vehicle for hire in the City," said Jay Strosberg, co-Managing Partner, Sutts, Strosberg LLP.  "The bylaw was specifically changed to capture this conduct, yet Mayor Tory has decided to ignore Toronto's own bylaw. Why bother changing the law unless you are going to enforce it?"

Mr. Strosberg is "baffled" by the City's decision to permit UberX to continue to operate as a taxi service without proper licensing and oversight.

"Taxi drivers, as taxpayers, have no choice but to file this injunction because Mayor Tory will not," said Mr. Strosberg. "The fact that this is a recent amendment makes it all the more egregious. The enforcement of law should not be a matter of politics.  Mayor Tory is sending the message that lawlessness is acceptable."

For the purposes of consumer protection, the City's licensing protocol contained in Municipal Code Chapter 545-1, Licensing requires that, among other things:

  • taxicab and limousine drivers complete a training course;
  • vehicles used as taxicabs or limousines pass mechanical inspection and be equipped with certain safety equipment;
  • vehicle owners have comprehensive insurance policies (with minimum coverage of $2,000,000) and have deposited a copy of their certificates of insurance with the City; and
  • the fares or rates charged for taxicab or limousine rides are in accordance with a fee schedule established by the City

The application and injunction therefore seeks an order declaring that all UberX drivers in Toronto are breaching the bylaw and also ordering that UberX drivers be prevented from continuing to operate without the required licenses.

SOURCE Sutts, Strosberg LLP Barristers & Solicitors

For further information: Media Contact for Jay Strosberg, Sutts Strosberg LLP: Aerial Communications Group, Naomi Strasser, 416.787.6577, naomi@aerialpr.com

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Taxi union files class-action request against Uber

The union representing thousands of taxi drivers filed a request in court Friday for permission to launch a class-action suit against the upstart mobile ride-hailing application Uber.

The union says Uber, which allows drivers to chauffeur others using their personal cars and charge them a fee, is engaging in unfair competition.

“We don’t know exactly how much it will be, but it will be in the tens of millions of dollars,” said Benoit Jugand, a spokesperson for the Regroupement des travailleurs autonomes-Métallos, the union that represents about half the roughly 10,000 taxi drivers on the island of Montreal.

In Quebec, those affected by a class-action suit are automatically eligible for damages if any are awarded, and must opt out if they don’t wish to be part of the action.

Jugand said the action taken Friday is in the name of taxi drivers in Longueuil, Laval, and Quebec City as well.

“It’s any city in the province where Uber is operating,” Jugand said.

Jugand said taxi drivers are missing out on about $50 per day in fares since Uber was established. He added that his union figures taxi permits in markets where Uber is operating have decreased by nine per cent on average in the province. However, a recent Montreal Gazette investigation has shown that the value of taxi permits was not affected in Montreal, Longueuil and Laval in the first six months since Uber started offering its Uber X service, which allows owners of private cars to charge money to give others rides.

Friday’s action is one of two court filings by the taxi union. Last month, the union filed a request for an injunction, asking a judge to order Uber to cease operations in the province since its drivers do not hold valid taxi licences. Taxi drivers must buy or rent licences, which fetch up to $200,000 on the secondary market. Taxi drivers say that puts them at a disadvantage against Uber because they have more upfront costs.

The injunction case will be heard at the Montreal courthouse starting Monday.

In recent weeks, Uber has been the subject of public hearings at the National Assembly, and Transport Minister Jacques Daoust has promised to introduce legislation by the end of this month. He is considering buying back taxi permits and increasing penalties for Uber drivers.

About 1,000 vehicles driven by Uber drivers have been seized since the company began operations in the fall of 2014. All those seizures have been appealed, and Uber is paying for a lawyer to challenge them in court.

A spokesperson for Uber did not return a request for comment by Friday afternoon.

jmagder@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/JasonMagder

Facebook.com/JasonMagderJournalist

Taxi Action’s Letter To John Tory

                                                                                                                                                              Taxi Action

Contact: Behrouz Kamseh

416-­453-­3236

torontotaxiaction@gmail.com

February 29, 2016

Mayor John Tory

Toronto City Hall

100 Queen Street West

Toronto, ON, M5H 2N2

 

Dear Mayor Tory,

We are writing to you on behalf of Taxi Action, a Toronto-based advocacy group. Our members are very concerned about the Ground Transportation Review and its report to be released some time in April this year.

We are particularly concerned that should the report recommend ‘Open Entry’, which means anyone with a car can provide ground transportation services with no requirement for a licence to operate and no cap on the number of vehicles providing such transportation service; and should Council vote in favour of this recommendation, then the Toronto taxi industry as we know it, will be effectively dead.

Also, in view of your commitment to reduce the City of Toronto’s carbon footprint and the Liberal government’s recent budget to do the same, adding 20,000 Uber vehicles to the city streets under ‘Open Entry’, will certainly be putting a lie to those commitments to reduce emissions and protect the environment.

We would like to bring to your attention that should the City of Toronto elect to allow ‘Open Entry’ into the Toronto taxi market, under the guise of ground transportation network companies, thereby effectively killing the Toronto taxi business, we believe the City of Toronto will be liable in paying a hefty sum of money to compensate the taxi industry.

We believe all the players in the taxi industry, from the shift driver up to the taxi brokerages, will have to be compensated by the City for not dealing with the industry in good faith. Taxi Action believes we have a compelling case to support the argument the City has not been fair to the law abiding taxi industry operators.

We will not get into the specificity of what we think will be owed to the industry at this time, since it has not yet happened. We just want you to be aware of the consequences of such an action should Council choose to vote in favour of an ‘Open Entry’ into the taxi business.

Sincerely,

Behrouz Kamseh

Taxi Action

Taxi Action, sent this letter to John Tory on February 29, 2016  to remind him of the consequences of his actions in deliberately forcing the taxi business into extinction. Taxi Action would also like all Toronto city Councillors to be mindful as well as they would be voting to bring the so called changes into effect.
As crippled as the taxi industry appears to be at the moment, the Toronto taxi industry will not disappear quietly without the appropriate compensation for the  willful destruction their business.

QUEBEC WOULD BUY TAXI LICENSES FOR UBER

| March 11, 2016

QUEBEC – Quebec is considering purchase of taxi permits to sell them or rent them to drivers Uber.

This is the model advocated by the Minister of Transport, Jacques Daoust, but its terms to be determined. A Bill would be tabled by the end of March to subject Uber, an illegal transport service to new rules.

On the last day of hearings of the parliamentary commission on the paid transport of people Thursday in Quebec, Mr. Daoust said the government could buy permits on sale, and then rent them to derive income by example. The takeover would thus at no cost, in time for the Treasury.

The value of taxi licenses is estimated between 1.3 and $ 1.7 billion currently at the rate of $ 150,000 to $ 200,000 per license, for 8500 licenses in circulation in the market quota.

“I’ll buy them, but I will have to find the revenue to be able to redeem them,” said the Minister in a press briefing before the final sitting of the parliamentary committee in parliament.

“We will not disburse the outset $ 1.3 or $ 1.4 billion, but it can, over a short period, six, seven years, settle down and just be with this industry there. We will give it the flexibility to be able to make it evolve. And new players and those who buy licenses, which should mortgage (to buy a license), maybe they will not have to do it, “he said.

Year after year, about 500 licenses change hands, and as and when that taxi permits would be sold by their owners, the state could buy and then rent them Uber and its drivers, or to other drivers, in order to recover his stake. And suddenly, the permit holder would not have to shell out a large sum and mortgage to buy it.

“There are ways to achieve the same result (a permit), with permits we could rent on an annual basis,” said the minister.

However, no question of issuing new licenses or to liberalize the transport market of people. Mr. Daoust holds market quota for transport security and quality of service, two non-negotiable demands he has set.

“It is difficult to work as an amateur. We’ll have to keep an industry that is viable and that will make a person can earn a living doing that, “he said.

The Uber Service will be tolerated as long as its drivers hold licenses and pay their taxes, the minister said. “Uber will have the right to lease and license to use them. But basically, it’s not true that we will be able to continue to say, not need permits, no need to collect GST and QST, “he said.

For its part, the official opposition, who vigorously defended the taxi industry and campaigned for tougher sanctions against Uber, reacted cautiously to the framework outlined by the Minister of Transport. PQ spokesperson on transport, the MP Martine Ouellet, has raised its concerns regarding the market control.

“We talk about supply management, has she said to reporters. Will people be able to do in the week with existing permits, or there will not necessarily permit? It will look at the details (…) and ensure that it does not penalize drivers. ”

It again urged the government to use all means at its disposal “to stop the illegal transport” which is ongoing with Uber.

Saskatchewan won’t create Uber regulations

A potential Uber driver would have to pay for a traditional taxi licence to operate in Saskatoon

The Saskatchewan government has told the city of Saskatoon it won’t create special regulations for ride-sharing companies such as Uber.

The news was delivered to a meeting of the city’s transportation committee in a report from the city solicitor.

The committee heard from several representatives from Saskatoon’s taxi and limousine industries who argued Uber is a predatory business that undercuts their companies by shirking regulations.

Committee chairman Randy Donauer said he would support a reduction in the regulations for taxis alongside any move to allow Uber into Saskatoon.

In the meantime, Donauer reassured the industry members in the gallery that as it stands right now, the current taxi bylaw remains in force, meaning a potential Uber driver would have to pay for a traditional taxi licence in order to operate.

In January, Edmonton became the first jurisdiction to legalize the new industry. Calgary city council also recently passed a bylaw which could start in April.

However, Uber officials suspended operations in Edmonton after the Alberta government announced it would not make insurance available to drivers until the summer.

In addition, the province is requiring ride-hailing drivers to get criminal record checks and have at least a Class 4 driver’s licence, which is a commercial licence.

How Uber turned 5,827 rape ‘complaints’ into just five

A whistleblower reveals a huge number of customer service tickets that appear to refer to assaults, but Uber says there's a perfectly good explanation.

By Adam Gale Monday, 07 March 2016

If you’re running a focus group to figure out which words customers associate with your brand, just about the last one you want to see on the whiteboard next to your name is ‘rape’. Ridesharing giant Uber is particularly vulnerable to this, having seen numerous high profile allegations against its drivers across the world.

The firm’s comms team will be reeling therefore from recent revelations that a search of its customer service database returned 5,287 tickets including the word ‘rape’, and a further 6,160 tickets when searching for the words ‘sexual assault’. This came to light after an as yet anonymous ex-employee sent screenshots to BuzzFeed News, which the site says has resulted in a ‘hunt’ for the whistleblower.

Uber was quick to call the results ‘highly misleading’,  saying that in fact only five tickets alleged an actual rape had occurred between December 2012 and August 2015 (or 0.0000009% of rides), and only 170 contained a legitimate claim of sexual assault.

Among the explanations offered by Uber for the rather significant disparity were that riders routinely misspelled the word ‘rate’ or use it in a different context (e.g. ‘you raped my wallet’), that some tickets related to alleged attacks on other ride sharing platforms and that any ‘names that contains the letters ‘R, A, P, E’ consecutively (for example, Don Draper) are included'.

Those may sound like rather flimsy excuses, but Uber in fact makes a very valid point about the nature of search. Try Googling ‘Uber rape’ and you get over five million hits, but no one’s alleging there were five million attacks. Unfortunately for Uber, in this case the best explanation just doesn’t sound very convincing.

Uber’s response about its general attitude toward security has the same problem. It spoke about the paramount importance of getting people from A to B safely and about what it does to make that happen – employing a dedicated safety team, conducting ‘robust’ background checks, and deploying advanced real-time tracking technology. But the crux was its admission that although ‘even one incident is too many... sadly no means of transportation is 100% safe’.

That’s a perfectly grown up response, and entirely true. Any service that results in millions of customers and employees (or users and contractors) being alone together will inevitably see some crimes take place. This goes for taxis, electricians or therapists as much as Uber rides, but in any case no organisation can completely stop it, no matter how hard it tries.

But is it what users want to hear? Will they even listen, when they’re hearing the words ‘Uber’ and ‘rape’ next to each other? Sometimes there’s only so much a company can do to protect its reputation - when terrible crimes such as rapes have occurred or are even alleged, no business can come out well, even if it’s done everything right.

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Uber fights back against suggestion of thousands of sexual assault complaints

By Dante D'Orazio, on Email @dantedorazio

Leaked screenshots of Uber's customer support platform obtained by BuzzFeed Newsshow that 6,160 support tickets over a 33-month period appear to contain the phrase "sexual assault." There were 5,827 for "rape." The data only searches through key data about complaints, such as subject line and driver/passenger name, and not the complaint itself.

Uber defended itself from the leaked data by saying that only five reports of rape and no more than 170 claims of sexual assault from the leaked batch of data were valid allegations. That covers the period from December 2012 through August 2015. The company also published an open letter rebutting the findings.

When questioned about the leak, Uber declined to provide The Verge with a complete number of sexual assault and rape allegations it has received, rather than the subset of complaints highlighted by the leaked data. Instead, a representative noted that the company routinely monitors and manually checks reports submitted by customers to stay on top of such incidents.

The data, notably, only includes reports received through the company's customer support platform — they do not appear to include reports that went directly to law enforcement, whether or not Uber ultimately found out about the incidents. And complaints about sexual assault or rape that did not include either of those words or variations thereof in the subject line would not be included, either.

A 24-hour review of the data by Uber led the company to tell BuzzFeed that the figures "significantly overstated" instances of assault across the firm's services — of all the search hits for "rape," only five, according to the company, were considered valid. That's because many different things could provide a keyword to pop up in the search database. For instance, a passenger named "Don Draper" or expressions using the word could come up as false positives. The company also notes that "rate" is often misspelled "rape" in the complaints. Still, that's a lot of false positives.

Even if Uber's numbers are taken at face value, it's a significant number. However, it is difficult to put the figures in perspective, as data for traditional taxi companies is not well-recorded. A number of the largest cities in the US do not break out data into where rape or sexual assault occurred, according to research by The Atlantic from last year.

Other data revealed by the leak shows the company's internal policies for dealing with such complaints. Service representatives are told to reach out to law enforcement for complaints that cross a certain threashold of concern. If an investigation into non-consensual sexual conduct proves inconclusive, Uber marks the driver with a warning. One more similar warning, and the driver is banned from the service.

More concerningly, Uber's approach to such sensitive customer complaints takes into account how likely the press or law enforcement (LE) is to be interested in the case. One screenshot reads: "Determine LE/media interest and have Comms/LERT monitor if risk confirmed." A similar policy appears to be in place for drug and alcohol abuse allegations.

The new findings, however, could raise concerns about the company's background check procedures, which some have complained are less effective than they should be. The company faced a lawsuit over those checks in 2014, and it is currently fighting a second suit from two victims of sexual assault who say that Uber's "negligence, fraud and misleading statements" are leading to such incidents.

Update, 5:42PM ET: This headline and article was modified from its original form to highlight the keyword search data obtained by BuzzFeed. Added link to Uber's open letter and the company's decision to decline releasing full allegation data.

 

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Mississauga council directs Uber to stand down

Councillors voted unanimously to halt the service's operations.

Cab drivers stop traffic at Queen's Park in their day of protest against Uber on Dec. 9, 2015. Mississauga's mayor said the province should consider compensating taxi plate owners. TORSTAR NEWS SERVICE

"You spin it very well, but you’re peddling a myth — Uber is a success because you work outside a regulatory framework.”

Those stinging words from Mississauga Councillor Nando Iannicca, telling a representative of the popular ride-sharing service that his company’s product is like “illegal cigarettes” and “bootlegged” alcohol, set the tone for a contentious committee meeting Wednesday.

Mississauga council voted unanimously to direct Uber to halt operations in the city until a new bylaw to deal with “transportation network companies” is struck. But the Uber representative wouldn’t say whether the company will comply.

“We’ll take the time as a company to review the motion,” Chris Schafer, Uber Canada’s public policy manager, told Torstar News Service.

Iannicca told Schafer his company operates in an “underground economy.”

“Who’s paying taxes on (your revenue)? Nobody seems to know. At the end of the day it’s not your technology, it’s your ability to work outside a regulatory framework,” he said to Schafer, offering up his own reasons for the company’s extraordinary success.

Mississauga currently has 3,500 traditional taxi drivers, while Uber boasts 5,000 drivers handling about 100,000 monthly rides, according to information given to councillors.

Taxi drivers told council Uber is killing their business by offering fares 25 to 30 per cent lower than theirs.

The council chamber was crowded with taxi drivers and their supporters. A half-dozen cabbies told council in deputations that, while they adhere to city regulations, paying up to $5,000 a year for commercial insurance, have cameras installed for safety, and are required to have police background checks, Uber drivers undercut them by skirting such requirements.

Mayor Bonnie Crombie voiced her support for the taxi drivers.

“Chris, there are a lot of people who think this new sharing economy is really just an underground economy,” she told Schafer.

She and other councillors repeatedly described Uber’s operations in Mississauga as “illegal,” pointing out that bylaw enforcement staff have laid more than 200 charges against Uber drivers, and that those matters are now before the courts.

Uber driver Louise Lee was asked by Councillor Jim Tovey if she has an HST number so she can remit taxes on her fares if she exceeds the annual $30,000 threshold triggering that requirement. She responded that she didn’t, but would pay any required taxes.

Staff gave councillors seven options for dealing with ride-sharing in the city, ranging from a self-regulating framework for such companies, to the province taking over regulation.

The city’s Public Vehicle Advisory Committee will debate the options before recommending a new bylaw to council, expected to go before them in the spring.

Crombie said she hopes the province will step in to deal with the increasingly complex issue. She said Queen’s Park should consider compensating taxi plate owners because those specialized plates — which recently sold for as much as $200,000 — have lost much of their value due to Uber.

“It’s an unfair playing field,” she said.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen if Uber will comply with council’s directive to shut down its operations in Mississauga, including its popular smartphone app.

“Regulation has to catch up with what over a million people in Ontario are using every month,” Schafer told council.

Uber obeys law in Edmonton, ignores it in Toronto

March 1, 2016 (Toronto) – Uber has informed its drivers that it will suspend service in Edmonton until insurance becomes available sometime next summer. Meanwhile, it continues to operate in Toronto, where the Mayor and Council asked it to cease last September.

In light of the Edmonton decision and Uber’s willingness to break the law, the Toronto Taxi Alliance (TTA) is reminding Council and staff that simply making an insurance product available does not mean any Uber drivers will actually purchase it.

As the Toronto Taxi Alliance (TTA) and the Canadian Taxi Association noted in a letter to Aviva Canada in January after that company announced a special new product for Uber:

“We are very concerned that an Aviva announcement that ‘an approved product exists and is available for purchase’ will be misconstrued by politicians to mean ‘20,000 illegal UberX drivers are now insured,” wrote TTA President Gail Souter.

“The fact that a product is available does not mean that thousands of UberX drivers are going to announce that they are picking up paying passengers, and purchase insurance with the new endorsement.

“More likely, they will continue to do what they are doing now: carry only a personal policy and refrain from notifying their insurance company they are carrying passengers for compensation. Release of information on the actual number of endorsements purchased will give politicians more accurate information on which to base their debates and decisions.”

Because of the confusion being caused by the fact that a product is available although not necessarily being purchased, the TTA is calling upon the City of Toronto to take action by requiring:

  • That any insurer selling ride-hailing coverage report to the City how many of these policies have actually been sold in the GTA on a quarterly basis; and,
  • That drivers carrying any ride-hailing insurance product be required to present their certificate of insurance for verification by the City of Toronto, as every taxi driver already does. Further, they should be required to carry this certificate with them and present it to police in the event they are pulled over.

“Surely Toronto will want to know whether 20,000 Uber drivers have purchased 20,000 policies – or 20,” Souter points out. “This information is crucial to effective public policy and consumer safety.”

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The secret strategy behind the Uber invasion of Canada

Posted

Even though Uber is competing for the exact same passenger dollars as the rest of the taxi industry, Uber wants to play by its own rules when it comes to fares, insurance, and licensing fees. Uber even objects to being subject to the same background checks on its drivers as the rest of the taxi industry.

This is the second of  three Canada Fact Check articles on Uber’s entry into Canada.

The main argument in Part 1 was that Uber’s flagship UberX service is unambiguously illegal in most cities in Canada because the law considers UberX a taxi service and Uber refuses to apply for a taxi licence. And it doesn’t apply for a taxi license for its UberX service for the simple reason that it does not want its UberX service to operate under the same rules as the rest of the taxi industry and incur the same licencing fee, insurance, and consumer safety costs that the rest of the industry pays. In other words, while Uber is competing for the exact same passenger dollars as the rest of the taxi industry, Uber wants to play by its own rules when it comes to fares and industry regulatory costs.

But Uber also knows that sooner or later the fact that its UberX service is operating illegally is going to catch up with it. In other words, it knows that UberX eventually has to operate under some sort of government sanctioned regulatory regime in Canada. And that’s why, long-term, it needs to have Canadian licensing jurisdictions implement separate sets of taxi rules tailored to its business model. Not tailored to its “innovative” technology as Uber and some of its boosters might claim, mind you, but tailored to the way Uber maximizes its profits.

To accomplish this, Uber has written its own taxi rules and hired well connected, high powered lobbyists to shop Uber written rules around to key Canadian licensing jurisdictions – including Toronto and British Columbia. And Edmonton is the first major Canadian city to make the Uber authored rules law.

To summarize: at the heart of Uber’s global business strategy is a political strategy. Because Uber doesn’t have the business smarts to compete with established taxi companies under existing industry rules, it has to operate either illegally or pressure local licensing authorities to create a separate set of taxi rules for its main service – UberX – to operate under.

How Uber enters a market

So that’s Uber’s strategy and more detail on that strategy is provided in Part 1. But what do Uber’s implementation tactics look like on the ground? How does it go about implementing its strategy?

From the point of view of municipal politicians and licensing officials, the Uber experience starts with introductions to Uber staff and after some back-and-forth, city hall officials agree to look at some of the transportation policy issues Uber has raised. The relationship goes well enough until one day, before any agreement is reached, Uber forces the issue by launching its UberX service without permission. Uber’s chief executive Travis Kalanick likes to call the move “principled confrontation.” Municipal lawyers  prefer to say it’s illegal.

Regardless of the terminology, an illegal launch is Uber’s first serious shot at softening up the ground. This preemptive strike allows Uber to assess a city’s resolve (and capacity) to enforce its rules. If regulators waffle, then Uber knows it’s well on its way to winning.

When cities show more backbone, Uber’s illegal entry into the market allows it to build a customer base that it can unleash on city officials and elected politicians. By galvanizing public support through online petitions, Twitter campaigns, and other tactics, Uber manages to turn customers into lobbyists.

Uber has the most difficulty in jurisdictions with senior-level government taxi licensing regimes and/or centralized auto insurance bodies because these jurisdictions have the institutional capacity to push back if Uber enters their market illegally. As it turns out, British Columbia has both: taxis are licensed provincially through the provincial Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) and B.C.‘s public auto insurer, ICBC, is pretty much the sole auto insurer in the province with an ability to closely co-ordinate its insurance requirements with the licencing regime of the provincial government. Not surprisingly, despite having the perfect young, hip customer base for the San Francisco based Uber, the flagship UberX service does not operate in Vancouver.

Lesson to be learned from Vancouver? Even where there is the perfect demographic for a successful Uber market entry, Uber will stay out of that market if it anticipates effective regulatory push back to its bullying tactics. Again, Uber’s business strategy is, more than anything else, a political strategy designed to get its own taxi rules. Think Uber’s app and customer service are why Uber has been so successful world-wide? Uber head office in San Francisco doesn’t think so and that’s why UberX is not in Vancouver. It knows that its business model won’t work there without rule changes and it simply hasn’t found a way to bully provincial licensing officials and the provincial auto insurer, the ICBC, into accepting Uber friendly rules. And the centralized nature of the taxi regulatory regime in B.C. has meant that operating illegally in Vancouver – as UberX does on a massive scale in Toronto and many other Canadian cities – carries too great a risk for the company.

But Uber being Uber, it’s not giving up on B.C. Uber has hired two former staffers from B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s office to lobby B.C.’s transportation minister Todd Stone for a new special licensing scheme that would differentiate its UberX service from traditional taxis. Dimitri Pantazopoulos, Clark’s former principal secretary, and Carling Dick, Clark’s former events coordinator, are both registered lobbyists for Uber, records show.

And David Plouffe, a former senior adviser to Barak Obama, oversees the Uber political strategy from San Francisco headquarters as Uber’s Senior Vice President of Policy and Strategy.

What Uber wants in new rules

Again, Uber’s long term strategy is to relentlessly pressure licensing officials into creating new sets of rules that play to Uber’s business model’s strengths. But exactly what, from Uber’s perspective, are the deal breaker issues for Uber to stay in/enter a particular market?  What must it get in the new licensing rules for it to agree to apply for a license and operate its UberX service in a market legally?

Simple: 1) the new rules must allow Uber to charge “surge pricing” with no maximum cap (think New Year’s Eve, an 8.9 times multiplier, and a $1,115 charge for a 60-minute ride in Montreal) while its competitors must continue to charge fixed-rate fares; 2) the new rules must exempt Uber from the commercial insurance coverage that is mandatory for licensed taxis so Uber drivers can carry a new, less comprehensive kind of “hybrid” insurance policy that is cheaper than commercial coverage; 3) Uber must be exempted from the existing licensing fees that govern both cab owners and drivers – and be given its own licensing fee regime with much lower fees; and 4) the background safety check rules for Uber drivers should not be so onerous as to scare off potential drivers. For Uber this usually means that it objects to rules requiring that driver safety checks be done through local police departments (see below).

This is essentially what Uber got in Edmonton and this is what Uber is pushing for in Toronto and in municipal and provincial licensing offices across the country.

Note that even if the new set of rules wind up being pretty close to the rules that Uber is pushing for, Uber does not want these rules to apply to the entire taxi sector. In fact, a revised set of rules that applied to all taxi operators (including the UberX service) would defeat the whole purpose of Uber’s lobbying efforts and undermine its long-term strategy. No, what Uber wants is for the legacy taxi industry to continue to operate under the existing, more expensive cost structure while it provides its UberX service under a new regulatory regime that costs it less and plays to its business model’s strengths. In other words, what Uber wants are two separate playing fields. And it wants to start off as the dominant – if not only – player on the low-cost field with its tech savvy, credit worthy, customer base.

Uber and the public interest

And what are the consequences if Uber is successful in changing the rules in its favour across Canada?

First, there is no evidence that Uber’s entry into a regional taxi market increases the overall size of that market. So what Uber’s lobbying efforts essentially achieve is to hive off a part of the existing taxi market by creating new rules that favour Uber. That leaves the traditional taxi companies – and more importantly, their drivers – to compete amongst themselves under the old rules in a much shrunken “legacy” market.

The end result is that Canada-wide, tens of thousands of hard-working, licensed taxi drivers and owners who each fork over thousands of dollars in municipal taxi ownership and operating fees annually, are seeing their already modest incomes significantly eroded.

Secondly, it’s not just the existing taxi industry and its drivers that are hurt by Uber, the broader public interest is also undermined when Uber comes to town.

Why is this? Let’s start with training. Typically, formal training for taxi drivers in Canada takes between two days and four weeks. Toronto has a three-week taxi driver course and is a good place to look at the “public interest” that is built into the regulatory regime that governs the existing taxi industry. In Toronto, that regime is outlined in detail as part of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 545 and the provisions and sub-provisions of the taxi segments of Chapter 545comprise 50 pages’ worth of social obligations tied to being a taxi driver in Toronto.

What’s in those 50 pages? Well, for starters there is the obligation to display the taxi Bill of Rights in a cab – if a driver doesn’t, there’s a $300 fine. A driver must also retain operator logs for at least twelve months. Another rule, drivers can’t trade rides for sex. In fact, if a driver breaks any of the rules in those 50 pages, he/she could end up before the Toronto licensing tribunal, which sits weekly.

Uber, in contrast, provides a sixteen minute online training tutorial that makes no reference to the larger social obligations of an Uber driver and can be summed up simply as: do whatever needs to be done to keep the customer coming back. UberX drivers have no public-interest mandate. They pick up only those with smartphones and available credit—and they are assisted in discriminating against iffy passeners through the five-star rating system in which drivers rate passengers.

And then there is the question of background checks on drivers.

On February 12, Uber proposed to pay $28.5 million to roughly 25 million customers to settle two class action lawsuits related to the way the company represented its background checks on drivers.

The terms of the proposed settlement were revealed in a court filing in the United States District Court in the Northern District of California. As of publication date, the presiding judge had not indicated whether the proposal would be accepted.

In the lawsuit, Uber passengers had contended that Uber’s marketing materials related to the company’s background checks were misleading and not “industry leading,” as Uber had previously claimed. The lawsuits also cited “unfortunate incidents” that have happened to passengers during Uber rides.

The lawsuit also claimed that Uber’s promotion of its background check process was not “industry leading” because the checks did not include driver fingerprinting or the requirement that the driver applicant appear in person.

On February 20, Uber driver Jason B. Dalton, 45, of Kalamazoo, Michigan fired at victims apparently selected at random. In three separate episodes over more than four hours on a Saturday night, Dalton killed six people and critically wounded two others.

The shooting spree allegedly took place while Dalton was picking up and dropping off passengers for Uber. Dalton had a 4.73 driver rating (out of 5) from passengers since passing the Uber driver screening process a month earlier.

On February 22, Calgary City Council amended its bylaws in response to Uber lobbying and created a separate category for ridesharing services. However, Ramit Kar, Uber’s general manager for Alberta, said that Uber “just can’t operate” under the new bylaw as written and that as a result, Uber won’t be operating in Calgary. Kar described Calgary’s $220 in annual per-driver licensing fees and relatively stringent requirements for background checks and vehicle inspections, as “unworkable” for Uber drivers.

The “unworkable” $220 annual licensing fee for ride-sharing services such as Uber compares to the following fees for Calgary taxi drivers: an annual Licence Fee for Taxi Plates of $877, an initial Taxi Drivers Licence T​​raining Fee of $745, and an annual driver’s  renewal fee of $135.

And what does Uber find unacceptable  in the Calgary by-law’s approach to background checks for ride-sharing drivers? Simple, that just like Calgary taxi drivers, the background check for Uber drivers would have to be completed through the Calgary Police Department (CPS).

Thats’ right, Uber doesn’t want background checks on its potential drivers to be completed through the Calgary Police Department. This, just two days after Uber driver Jason B. Dalton gunned down 6 people in Kalamazoo, Michigan and left two others critically wounded.

Part 3: Uber’s tax avoidance schemes and labour strategy

There are two other major areas where Uber plays by different rules that give it an additional advantage over its competitors: its (apparently legal) international tax avoidance strategy and its (legally contested) claim that Uber drivers are independent contractors as opposed to employees. These issues, of course, are not regulated within municipal (or provincial) taxi licensing regimes but are central to Uber’s  global growth strategy.

Uber’s global tax avoidance and labour strategies will be dealt with in detail in a third article to be posted on Canada Fact Check in the next few days.

Uber says it will cease Alberta operations unless province agrees to changes

The manager for Uber in Alberta threatens that ride-sharing app will cease operating in the province on Tuesday

EDMONTON – The manager for Uber in Alberta says the ride-sharing app will cease operating in the province on Tuesday unless the provincial government makes insurance and licensing changes.

Ramit Kar told a demonstration of about 150 Uber supporters on the steps of the Alberta legislature on Saturday that the government must allow flexibility on requirements that drivers have commercial licences.

He says the province must also approve a ride-sharing insurance product that Uber has obtained from a private insurer.

Uber wants the changes in order to satisfy requirements passed by Edmonton Council that take effect on March 1.

Under the Edmonton bylaw, Uber drivers must carry provincially approved insurance, have an annual vehicle inspection and agree to a criminal record check.

Kar says without action by the province by Tuesday, thousands of people will be affected.

“We hope that the voice this group and the many voices they represent are heard by the province and that we see action soon,” Kar told cheering supporters, many of whom were Uber drivers.

“We hope to continue to see you on the road.”

A spokesperson for Alberta Transportation Minister Brian Mason said in an emailed statement on Saturday that the government is dealing with several issues, including licensing and insurance, and wants to address all the issues at once rather than in a piecemeal fashion

“We are committed to finding an appropriate solution allowing ride share companies to operate in a fair manner, while also protecting drivers, passengers, and other road users,” Aileen Machell said.

Calgary city council has also passed a ride-sharing bylaw which could take effect in April, but officials with Uber have said those rules are too strict.

Calgary’s bylaw requires ride-sharing drivers to have a Class 4 driver’s licence – a commercial licence. It also requires an annual $220 operating licence from the city, regular inspections, proof of eligibility to work in Canada and a police background check.

Several Uber drivers addressed the rally in Edmonton, saying the service gives them jobs and provides users with safe rides.

But Isack Isack, an Edmonton taxi driver who observed the rally and challenged Kar when he took media questions, said a commercial licence is important for anyone carrying passengers for money. Medical requirements for drivers, he noted, are more stringent with a commercial licence.

“They’re carrying other people,” Isack said to Kar.

Kar said Uber drivers are driving their personal cars, and that it’s no different than carpooling. He said Uber has proposed a number of options to the province for getting around the requirements of a commercial licence.

“A Corolla is a Corollla is a Corolla no matter which way you look at it,” Kar said.

Written by Comments Off on Uber says it will cease Alberta operations unless province agrees to changes Posted in Shangox Taxi News

Brampton calls on Uber to suspend ride-sharing service

Brampton city council jumped into the Uber fray on Wednesday as they called on Uber to suspend some services and requested staff step up enforcement against unlicensed drivers.

But with no plans to challenge Uber in court, Brampton’s politicians may now find themselves in the middle of a tug-of-war that has seized Toronto and other major cities across the country.

In their first formal move against Uber, the 11-member council voted unanimously to request the company suspend UberX operations “in a show of good faith” while city staff review the regulations governing taxis and limousines. But that motion is not binding on Uber, which has largely refused to suspend operations in other cities, including Toronto.

Uber Canada gave no assurances they plan to comply with council's request. When asked directly if they would, Uber Canada spokesperson Susie Heath said they “look forward to continuing our work with officials in Brampton to modernize regulations to encourage innovation, put people first and create safe, reliable and affordable transportation options.”

While Uber has disrupted taxi markets around the world by letting users connect to licensed cabs through a mobile phone app, it more controversially also offers rides in unlicensed cars at a discount through UberX.

The successful motion from Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon asked city staff to pursue “any enforcement measure allowed” if they continue to operate calling it a “public safety concern.” Council also asked staff to look at increasing the minimum penalty for bylaw infractions from $500 to $5,000.

At issue, the motion said, is a lack of training, police background checks and vehicle inspections.

“This is a victory for the residents of Brampton,” Dhillon said in a statement which did not explain Uber is not forced to comply. “This decision is a good first step to guarantee the public’s safety and security, while maintaining fairness — that is our priority right now.”

Mayor Linda Jeffrey said there is a “willingness” from Uber to work together to create a “fair and level playing field” — echoing sentiments from Toronto Mayor John Tory about creating revised regulations.

“I think what we’ve asked for is pause,” she told the Star. “We’re obviously concerned with public safety.”

Last month, Jeffrey wrote a letter to taxi industry officials saying unlicensed “ride sharing” services are “unfair” to taxpayers, the Brampton Guardian reported.

When asked whether she’s under pressure from the industry to act against Uber, Jeffrey said the focus is on protecting residents while acknowledging there is a “livelihood issue” for drivers.

Jeffrey would not comment on whether the city would be prepared to challenge Uber in court if they do not suspend UberX services.

Marcel Wieder, spokesperson for the Peel Taxi Alliance, said they have been discussing regulations for months with city staff and are “pleased” council passed the motion unanimously.

“We hope that Uber and other ride-sharing services respond positively to what Brampton council has asked,” he said.

In Toronto, where staff are actively working on new regulations, due in April, to cover UberX, the city says that service continues to operate illegally.

The number of charges against UberX drivers and vehicle owners in Toronto now totals 154, the city’s licensing division said Wednesday. Since council voted to update its bylaw related to licensed cabs last fall, there have also been 342 charges against Uber’s various corporate entities.

That hasn’t stopped Uber from promoting their efforts locally, including launching new services like UberPOOL which allows reduced fares from carpooling with other users matched through the app.

Last month Edmonton became the first Canadian city to regulate Uber, establishing separate categories and rules for taxis and “private transportation providers.” Uber welcomed the bylaw and is seeking provincially approved insurance to comply with it.

In Calgary, Uber originally agreed to suspend operations after the city sought a temporary injunction. The company and council later agreed to consult on the new regulations. But when the city passed a bylaw similar to Edmonton’s at council last week, Uber rejected the rules, saying its fees and rules for UberX drivers break the firm’s business model. Uber has said they will not operate in Calgary.

With files from David Rider

Brampton Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon’s Uber motion accepted unanimously by Council

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BRAMPTON City Council on Wednesday unanimously accepted Councillor Gurpreet S. Dhillon’s motion to temporarily suspend ride-sharing companies, such as Uber, until a final decision can be made by the City to ensure public safety, consumer protection, fairness and regulation.

“This is a victory for the residents of Brampton,” said Councillor Dhillon. “I’m very proud that my motion was supported by all my Council colleagues. This decision is a good first step to guarantee the public’s safety and security, while maintaining fairness – that is our priority right now.

“There will be a thorough, public consultation process with all stakeholders where a fair, regulated and competitive environment will be created.”

The motion was seconded by Councillor Pat Fortini and received unanimous consent with a vote of 11-0. It will now go before the Taxi Advisory Committee and City staff for implementation and follow-up.

Two additional amendments were introduced:

  • That Legal Services staff be requested to report back to Council on advice regarding the prosecution process and fine structure for offences enforced under the City’s mobile licensing bylaw, including the possibility of establishing a minimum fine threshold of $5,000 per offence for Transportation Network companies and drivers, such as UBER;
  • That the federal and provincial government be requested to undertake legislative changes to equip municipalities with the tools to effectively enforce local bylaws prohibiting the operation of UBER and ride share in their municipalities; and that staff be directed to undertake a review of enforcement strategies being used by other municipalities to restrict UBER and ride share operations.

The full motion introduced by Councillor Dhillon can be found here:

http://www.brampton.ca/EN/City-Hall/CouncilOffice/Gurpreet-Dhillon/Documents/Brampton%20City%20Councillor%20Gurpreet%20Dhillon.pdf

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Compensate taxi drivers if permits are abolished, Coderre tells National Assembly hearings

 

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, flanked by Linda Marchand, left, and Aref Salem of the Bureau du Taxi, appears at a legislature committee on the taxi industry, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016 at the legislature in Quebec City. JACQUES BOISSINOT / THE CANADIAN PRESS

QUEBEC — Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre warned the transport minister Wednesday against abolishing taxi permits and opening up the market to Uber without first compensating taxi drivers, many of whom have mortgaged their homes to buy a permit.

“The game in all of this, which is major, is that you have people who invested $1.3 billion in permits. Scrapping that, liberalizing too quickly, what kind of social impact will it have?” Coderre asked.

“If you want to take permits away, then pay for it,” he said, adding the taxi industry is bread and butter for 22,000 Montreal families.

The Couillard government is currently holding committee hearings into the future of Quebec’s taxi industry. It is studying ways to regulate ride-hailing companies such as Uber, a new player that operates without taxi permits, and minimal insurance and inspection costs.

Uber has a popular app that connects riders to nearby drivers using their own vehicles. The company says it takes on average four minutes to get an Uber car in Montreal.

On Tuesday, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, Germain Belzile from the HEC business school and Vincent Geloso, a PhD student at the London School of Economics, recommended the province open up the market to new technologies and buy back permits from taxi drivers “at a reasonable price.”

Coderre said he worries about the social and environmental impacts of liberalizing the market: “If you don’t have a regulation framework, it means it’s a free-for-all, so you might have what’s going on now, we have 7,500 cars and we’re all saying greenhouse gas emissions, the worst part is because of transport. We want to reduce that,” he said.

In the meantime, the Montreal mayor said he agrees with Transport Minister Jacques Daoust that Uber must stop its “illegal” activities. He said Montreal police are swamped, having already seized 711 Uber vehicles. Uber’s lawyers are challenging the seizures in court.

Coderre asked Daoust for more inspectors to seize cars, and highlighted the fact that he agrees with the notion of seizing drivers’ licenses— an option the minister hinted at on Tuesday.

“If you don’t respect the definition of legal transport, if you’re doing illegal transport you have to pay for it. What kind of consequences? We can seize the cars. Now Uber is saying it’s paying the fines, well OK, we’ll go further than that. I think it was a good idea to say that we’ll seize the drivers’ licenses,” Coderre said.

cplante@postmedia.com

twitter.com/cplantegazette

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Retired Justice: “Are Police, Prosecutor serious about Uber charges?”

TORONTO, Feb. 23, 2016 /CNW/ - The fact that five of eight Uber drivers charged by Toronto Police last March have still not received disclosure of the evidence raises serious doubts about whether the Police and/or the Prosecutor's office are seriously intent on prosecuting these charges, says Harvey Spiegel, Q.C. legal counsel for the Toronto Taxi Alliance.

On January 22nd, Gerald Chan, the drivers' lawyer informed the court that five drivers had not yet received disclosure documents fromToronto prosecutors. The prosecution gave no reasonable explanation for the failure. The court agreed this was an inordinately long period of time to provide disclosure in a case like this.

The case against the Uber drivers charged is scheduled to be in court on Feb. 24th at 9 a.m. at "N" Court (Old City Hall, 3rd floor).

Read the full release here

SOURCE Toronto Taxi Alliance

For further information: contact Rita Smith at 647 242 5505 or ritasmith@rogers.com

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Calgary allows Uber in theory but company says it can’t operate under new bylaw

Council makes minor tweaks but stops short of overhauling bylaw in the way Uber had wanted

By Robson Fletcher, CBC News Posted: Feb 22, 2016 10:53 AM MT Last Updated: Feb 22, 2016 4:21 PM MT

Uber can now operate legally in Calgary in theory, but the company says it won't resume operations in the city.

City council approved a new bylaw Monday that opens the door for ride-hailing services but stopped short of amending the bylaw to meet Uber's demands.

Ramit Kar, Uber's general manager for Alberta, said last week the ride-company "just can't operate" under the bylaw as written, and re-iterated that immediately after council approved the regulations with only minimal changes.

"It's a really unfortunate day for riders and drivers in Calgary," Kar told reporters.

"For riders, there's no longer going to be an option that they've been asking for to get transported around the city."

Kar described Calgary's $220 in annual per-driver licensing fees and relatively stringent requirements for background checks and vehicle inspections as "unworkable" for Uber drivers, particular those who work part-time.

But council wouldn't agree to change the fee schedule or background-check requirements. It did, however, vote to loosen the inspection requirement.

Instead of getting vehicle inspections every six months, the requirement is now one per year, unless a vehicle exceeded 50,000 kilometres of total travel in the previous year. In that case, six-month inspections would be required.

Kar called on Calgary to adopt rules more similar to those approved by Edmonton last month, which include a per-trip fee of six cents in addition to an annual lump sum of $50,000 paid to the city directly by the company.

That fee format makes more sense for the majority of Uber drivers in the provincial capital, Kar said, who drive less than 10 hours per week.

'We're not followers'

But Coun. Joe Magliocca told CBC News prior to the council meeting that Calgary wouldn't accede to Uber's demand that it copy Edmonton's bylaw.

"We're leaders; we're not followers," Magliocca said. "This is Calgary."

During the meeting, city staff told council an Edmonton-style fee schedule wouldn't cover costs in Calgary and regulation of ride-hailing apps would end up being subsidized by taxpayers.

Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart said the new bylaw isn't aimed just at Uber and noted that, even though it's the world's largest ride-hailing company, it's far from the only one.

Uber File
Calgary city council approved a new bylaw Monday that opens the door for ride-hailing services but did not amend the bylaw to meet Uber's demands. (Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters)

"There are a lot of people that are either in the market or intending to enter the market," Colley-Urquhart said.

The new regulations were approved by a 14-1 vote, with only Coun. Evan Woolley voting against it on the bylaw's third and final reading.

Woolley then introduced a new motion calling on the city staff to meet with Uber and come back with recommendations to tweak the licensing fee schedule and vehicle maintenance requirements but was voted down.

"This is a piece where we've kind of missed an opportunity," said Woolley.

He called this new technology a "key component" of the "transportation revolution happening across the world right now."

"We want to see the city evolve with the technology, changing economies, all of these things," he said.

More than just Uber

The new bylaw has been months in the making, ever since a judge granted the city's request for an injunction against Uber last November after the company unilaterally launched its lowest-cost ride-hailing service, UberX, in Calgary in October.

Uber asserted at the time that the city's existing bylaws governing taxis and limousines don't apply to it, but a judge disagreed and ordered Uber drivers to temporarily stop operating in Calgary, until regulations could be sorted out.

The changes approved Monday modify Calgary's existing Livery Transport Bylaw, which governs taxis, limousines and now "private for hire vehicles" — which is the city's catch-all term for Uber and services like it.

"This is a modernization of our entire taxi bylaw, with a whole bunch of things in it," Mayor Naheed Nenshi said.

Here is a summary of some of the regulations for the different vehicle types.

Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart
Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart stands to speak in the Calgary city council chambers. (CBC)

With files from Bryan Labby

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Uber vows to abandon Calgary after council passes bylaw

'It’s a really unfortunate day for riders and drivers in Calgary'

TREVOR HOWELL FIRST POSTED:

Ride-sharing company Uber says it's leaving Calgary after council passed a new bylaw.

Uber says it's finished with Calgary after city council adopted a new bylaw to allow ride-sharing companies in Calgary.

In a 14-1 vote, city council passed what Mayor Naheed Nenshi described as a “21st century” model other cities could emulate as ride-sharing becomes an increasingly popular alternative to traditional cabs.

“This isn’t about Uber,” Nenshi told reporters after council’s decision. “Let’s think about the fact that we’ve completely modernized the taxi bylaw without a single protest, which hasn’t happened in any other city."

The brash U.S.-based company, which stormed Calgary streets last fall, earlier warned the proposed bylaw is “unworkable” and would prevent it from operating in the city.

“It’s a really unfortunate day for riders and drivers in Calgary,” said Ramit Kar, general manager for Uber Alberta.

“For riders, it means there will no longer be an option that they’ve been asking for to get transported around the city,” Kar told reporters. “For drivers there’s no longer an opportunity to earn extra money.”

Kar said the bylaw’s fee structure is too onerous and would break Uber’s business model. The company has a reported valuation of more than $50 billion.

The new livery transport bylaw would see private-for-hire drivers pay a $220 annual licensing fee, plus a $30 Calgary Police Services criminal history and an annual vehicle inspection fee.

The draft bylaw had required twice-a-year vehicle inspections. But council scaled that back to one mechanical check unless the vehicle racks up more than 50,000 kilometres after the first inspection.

Coun. Evan Woolley, the lone dissenting vote on council, failed to convince his colleagues to establish a hybrid flat/variable fee structure and a vehicle inspection process that didn't create "unnecessary barriers" for drivers.

"What I'm disappointed mostly about is that we couldn't put forward an appropriate framework in which they could operate," Woolley said. "That's a business decision they'll have to make.

"This is a transformative platform that I think Calgarians were expecting us to move forward in a meaningful way," he said.

Uber and other ride-hailing services like Lyft operate through smartphone applications that allow customers to request a ride directly with freelance drivers who use their own vehicles.

Kar suggested Calgary adopt Edmonton’s recently approved bylaw that sees Uber pay that city $50,000 annually, plus six cents per trip to cover city regulation and enforcement costs.

"It's funny because last fall (Uber) was complaining vociferously about Edmonton's rules and how Edmonton’s rules were completely unworkable completely onerous,” Nenshi said. “Now they're telling us to adopt Edmonton's rules."

Administration told council the city would not recover its costs if it adopted Edmonton's fee structure, effectively creating a subsidy for so-called transportation network companies, like Uber.

Council was also informed that at least two other companies have shown interest in setting up shop in Calgary under the new bylaw.

"This is not about Uber," said Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart. "There are a lot of people that are either in the market or intending to enter the market."

Calgary's new bylaw will go into effect April 4. However, drivers would still be required to get provincially-approved insurance.

The NDP government has formed a cross-ministry committee to develop policy options around safety, licensing and insurance for ride-sharing services.

Calgary successfully obtained a temporary court injunction last fall to stop Uber drivers from operating on city streets, in large part over concerns drivers and passengers would not be insured in the event of an accident.

The company subsequently shut down its app here and eventually reached an agreement to work with city officials in drafting a new bylaw.

Roger Richard, president of Association Cabs, previously said Uber should "go to hell" and warned the new bylaw would result in the "total destruction" of the taxi industry, now says the rules created a "fair and level playing field."

"This will be good for the industry, good for the consumer," Richard told reporters. "The only one who doesn't seem to like it is Uber."

thowell@calgaryherald.com

Written by Comments Off on Uber vows to abandon Calgary after council passes bylaw Posted in Shangox Taxi News

Uber driver picked up fares during gun rampage that left six dead

A TAXI driver is suspected of shooting dead six people in between picking up fares.

Jason Dalton and Uber TaxiREUTERS /GETTY ARRESTED: Jason Dalton, an Uber taxi driver, is suspected of shooting dead six people

Jason Dalton was arrested after opening fi re on victims – one a child aged eight – at an apartment block, restaurant and car dealership.

Amazingly, a 14-year-old girl who was pronounced dead at hospital suddenly showed she was still alive by squeezing her mother’s hand.

She was “clinging to life” last night, according to a US police spokesman.

Police officers in Kalamazoo searching for DaltonAP KILLING SPREE: Police officers in Kalamazoo search for Dalton

“There’s a sense of loss, anger, fear – all those emotions”

Jeff Hadley, Local police chief

Between the gunfire, the 45-year-old cabbie calmly picked up and dropped off customers over a five-hour period, witnesses say.

Married dad Dalton was arrested outside a bar in Kalamazoo, Michigan, yesterday, in a car that matched the description of the gunman’s.

A semi-automatic handgun was found inside the vehicle.

The suspect, who gave himself up without struggle, has no history of crime or mental illness.

Local police chief Jeff Hadley said the shootings were “totally unprovoked”. He added: “There’s a sense of loss, anger, fear – all those emotions.

A forensics wagonAP SUSPECT: A forensics wagon at one of the shootings  AP
“We are still trying to figure out the motive.”

The shooting spree began at the Cracker Barrel restaurant where four people died, including the eight-year-old, after the gunman got out of his car and opened fired.

He then moved on to a Ford car dealership four miles away where a father and his 18-year-old son were shot dead.

Prosecutor Jeff GettingAP LAWYER: Prosecutor Jeff Getting
A woman was shot and seriously injured outside a nearby apartment. Kalamazoo County prosecutor Jeff Getting said victims “appear to be chosen at random, because they were available”.

“They were shot multiple times.”

 

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Uber says it ‘just can’t operate’ in Calgary under proposed new bylaw

Council to vote on new regulations Monday but company already calling on city to go back to the drawing board

By Robson Fletcher, CBC News Posted: Feb 19, 2016 3:37 PM MT Last Updated: Feb 19, 2016 6:33 PM MT

After blocking Uber with a court injunction last year, Calgary has drafted a bylaw that it says would allow the ride-hailing service to resume operations in the city — but the company is already rejecting the new rules as a non-starter.

"If this is the rideshare bylaw that goes through, we will not be able to operate," said Ramit Kar, Uber's general manager for Alberta.

City council is set to vote Monday on the revised bylaw, but Kar is calling on councillors to send it back to city staff for further revisions.

The new bylaw has been months in the making, ever since a judge granted the city's request for an injunction against Uber last November after the company unilaterally launched its lowest-cost ride-hailing service, UberX, in Calgary in October.

When it launched, Uber asserted that the city's existing bylaws governing taxis and limousines don't apply to it or its "driver partners," but the city disagreed and successfully filed for the ​injunction.

Operating exclusively through a mobile app, Uber allows customers to connect directly with drivers, who operate as independent contractors rather than employees, in order to request a ride.

Payment is all handled within the app itself, based on trip distance measured via GPS-enabled mobile devices, and no cash is exchanged.

Uber has exploded in popularity around the world, and the company's estimated value has soared above $50 billion. But it has often encountered resistance from municipal lawmakers as they grapple with the challenge of reconciling decades-old taxi bylaws with modern communication and transportation demands.

Edmonton approves Uber

In January, despite vocal opposition from the taxi industry, Edmonton approved a new bylaw specifically allowing for Uber to operate — making it the first Canadian municipality to do so.

Uber welcomed Edmonton's rules but says Calgary's draft bylaw, which is largely similar but contain numerous key differences, won't work for it or its drivers.

"The City of Calgary is proposing requirements intended to achieve the same objective, but in a manner that is much more onerous, expensive and does not reflect the benefits and inherent safety features of ridesharing," Uber said in a statement.

What is Calgary proposing?

The city's draft bylaw would revamp existing rules governing taxis and limousines and create a new class of service that would include Uber and other potential market entrants like it.

Drivers of taxis, limos and Uber vehicles would all be required to have a city-issued licences, but only taxi drivers would be required to take city-provided training.

Unlike taxis, there would be no limit on the the number of Uber vehicles allowed to operate in the city

But Uber drivers would only be able to accept rides via its mobile app, leaving street hails and taxi-stand pickups and phone-dispatch requests as the exclusive domain of taxi drivers.

Uber Calgary Draft Bylaw Regulations

All three driver types would also be required to provide annual background checks from the Calgary Police Service, vulnerable-sector checks (a report which includes pardons for sexual offences) and demerit-limit checks in order to obtain a city-issued licence.

The city is proposing a licensing fee of $220 per driver, per year, which itdescribes as "reasonable to help with the operational cost of enforcement."

Uber vehicles would also be required to be undergo inspections every six months under the proposed bylaw, but Mayor Naheed Nenshi has indicated he will press for that particular rule to be amended.

Kar said all the costs Calgary is proposing add up to an "unworkable" regulatory system for many drivers who would work only on a part-time and infrequent basis.

More than 60 per cent of Uber drivers in Edmonton drive less than 10 hours a week, he noted.

To accommodate such drivers, Kar suggested Calgary adopt something akin to Edmonton's fee structure, which sees Uber pay a $50,000 annual lump sum and then six cents per trip to the city.

Data sharing demands

The per-trip fee in Edmonton involves Uber sharing some of its internal data with city staff, something Kar said the company is also willing to do with Calgary, on a limited basis.

Calgary's proposal would also ask Uber to provide city staff with "access to a portion of their app" for the purpose of locating Uber vehicles "for on-road inspections."

Kar said that part requires some clarification.

"If you guys want to have access to the Uber platform so you can conduct enforcement activities, we're fine with that," he said. "If it's actually getting access to some source code in the application or owning some part of the application, there's something very wrong with that."

Calgary taxis and limousines already share trip-related data with city staff, which is used to guide policy decisions.

Allegations of bullying

Uber encouraged its legions of digitally savvy supporters to pressure city councillors by tweeting their opposition to the proposed bylaw with the hashtag #yyc4uber, which was among the top-three trending terms in Calgary on Friday.

In a lengthy series of tweets of his own, Nenshi described Uber as inflexible and their strategy as "bizarre."

"We've been willing to discuss amendments," the mayor tweeted. "They keep trying to threaten they'll just leave."

Coun. Joe Magliocca said Uber has been acting "like a bully" and the attitude from the company comes across as: "Either you do what we tell you to do or you can go to hell and we'll do it anyway."

"I don't appreciate that, to be quite frank with you," he said.

"But, you know what? It is a $50-billion company, after all."

Kar said Uber is merely being direct in saying what will and won't work when it comes to the city's proposed bylaw.

"The reality is that, for us, we just can't operate in that framework," he said. "This isn't us trying to be a bully, by any means. We're just stating facts."

Insurance issues persist

Both Edmonton's approved bylaw and Calgary's proposed bylaw hinge on Uber drivers being properly insured, something that remains a challenge in Alberta as the type of insurance required isn't readily available.

The province's superintendent of insurance issued a special advisory last summer about "ride sharing services and the insurance risk they currently pose to Albertans."

"Drivers using Uber ride sharing services may believe that Uber's supplemental insurance provides the necessary coverage," the advisory stated. "This is currently not the case in Alberta."

The provincial government also said at the time it was working to update the regulatory regime in Alberta so that services like Uber can be better insured, but a spokesperson said Friday there's still no timeline for when that will happen.

"Issues that need to be addressed include insurance and driver licensing to ensure the public is protected," Aileen Machell, press secretary to Transportation Minister Brian Mason, told CBC News in an email.

The government is still "looking at options," she added.

Uber also says the enhanced background screening is unnecessary, given that it already requires background checks — admittedly less stringent ones — from its driver partners before they are allowed to drive.

With files from Falice Chin

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Uber tells Quebec government it won’t suspend operations

Published on: February 19, 2016 | Last Updated: February 19, 2016 6:28 AM EST

QUEBEC — Uber executives got a rocky ride at the National Assembly Thursday, beginning with the transport minister accusing them of making a mockery of Quebec’s laws, and taxi drivers forming a hostile receiving line, calling for them to be booted out of the province.

“Kick them in the butt right out of Quebec,” said Benoît Jugand, spokesperson for the Métallos union representing most taxi drivers in the province, as soon as Uber was done presenting.

Hearings into the future of Quebec’s taxi industry got off to a good start Thursday morning but took a dramatic turn when Uber Quebec general manager Jean-Nicolas Guillemette sat down to list some of the company’s accomplishments: 8,000 drivers have offered 450,000 rides to people in the Montreal and Quebec City area in recent months, he said.

“I don’t understand why you’re so happy about having broken the law 450,000 times,” Transport Minister Jacques Daoust shot back. “People call you, but it doesn’t mean you’re legal.

“You’re in the house where we make laws and what you’re saying is: ‘Until I like the laws I won’t respect them,’ and for me, sir, that’s unacceptable. We will be the ones to impose a model on you.”

The minister wasn’t nearly finished.

“How can you pretend to want to be the government’s partner when you don’t respect the law? We have seized your vehicles 1,000 times; you pay the drivers’ fines and pay for replacement vehicles … You’re not looking for a solution, you’re looking for confrontation and you may very well get it,” Daoust warned.

The minister formally requested that Uber suspend its operations during the hearings, and open its books to Revenue Quebec to allow the Quebec government to recoup taxes the company hasn’t paid.

Uber, which began operating in Quebec in the fall of 2014, is a worldwide ride-sharing service that connects riders and drivers via apps. Guillemette said it takes on average four minutes to get an Uber car in Montreal, and the service is half the price of a regular taxi ride. The company operates without taxi permits, and isn’t burdened with the same insurance and inspection costs as taxi drivers.

It is illegal under the Criminal Code to provide passenger transportation for remuneration without holding a taxi owner’s permit.

“Of course you’re less expensive,” Daoust said, “you don’t have any constraints.”

Uber was further raked over the coals by Parti Québécois MNA Martine Ouellet and Québec solidaire co-leader Amir Khadir, who called the San Francisco-based company’s practices “brutal capitalism.”

“Isn’t it true that your company has been fined 150,000 Euros for deceptive and misleading advertising?” Ouellet asked. “I don’t have any details,” Guillemette responded.

“Give us the list of countries where you are not welcomed,” she insisted. “I don’t have that information,” he said.

Later pressed by reporters, Guillemette said he would not stop operations in Quebec, but invited the minister to come look at his books.

“We’re respecting Quebec’s fiscal laws,” he said, adding each driver is responsible for declaring earnings and paying taxes. “We won’t stop our services. Our responsibility is to continue serving the population of Quebec.”

Earlier in the day, the Métallos testified that having a professional association for taxi drivers would help the taxi industry modernize. And Montreal city councillor Guillaume Lavoie suggested the province even out the playing field by regulating Uber, and awarding taxi drivers competitive advantages such as reserved lanes during peak traffic hours and exclusive rights to taxi stands.

While MNAs reflect on ways to regulate Uber, Ouellet says the National Assembly should pass her private member’s bill cracking down on “illegal taxi services in Quebec by increasing the various sanctions imposed on individuals who illegally provide passenger transportation for remuneration.”

The bill, which Ouellet calls a band-aid solution, would allow police to take four demerit points away from any driver who fails to present a valid taxi owner’s permit, and seize a repeat offender’s driver’s license for up to three months.

“It would help maintain social peace in the province,” Jugand said of the bill.

Taxi drivers demonstrate as a legislature committee studies the legality of UBER, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016 at the legislature in Quebec City. JACQUES BOISSINOT / THE CANADIAN PRESS

 

 

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A not quite anonymous commentary by Uncle Block about what “levelling the playing field,” means in realspeak.