Taxi Driver Allegedly Threatens Uber Driver & Passenger

Update:

A Château Laurier spokesperson confirmed the hotel handed over security footage taken around 1:30 am Saturday that "may have been related" to the video. The video, which appears to have been taken from inside a vehicle, shows a man shouting at the driver.
Blueline taxi’s lined up at taxi post outside the Château Laurier Hotel. A hotel spokesperson confirmed the hotel handed over security footage taken around 1:30 am Saturday that “may have been related” to the video. The video, which appears to have been taken from inside a vehicle, shows a man shouting at the driver.

‘If I see you again, you’re dead meat. Go follow the law and get a real job’

Taxi driver allegedly threatens Uber driver

see source

A video circulating online that claims to show an Ottawa taxi driver threatening an Uber driver and passenger is now the subject of a police investigation.

A Chateau Laurier spokesperson confirmed the hotel handed over security footage taken around 1:30 am Saturday that “may have been related” to the video. The video, which appears to have been taken from inside a vehicle, shows a man shouting at the driver.

“If I see you again, you’re dead meat. Go follow the law and get a real job. I’m not joking with you,” the man tells the driver before holding open the back door and shouting at the passenger.

“Take a real taxi you f—ing cheapskate,” he said. Both sides threaten to call police in the profane exchange recorded for one minute and 21 seconds.

Sgt. Fred St. Pierre said Ottawa police launched an investigation after a third party brought the video to their attention.

“We don’t have a complainant. That’s the issue,” he said.

Although the name of the Ottawa taxi driver allegedly involved in the dispute has been circulating on social media, St. Pierre said police have not yet identified anyone involved in the video.

Taxi bylaw Review Underway

This is the latest video in an ongoing dispute that pits Ottawa taxi drivers against Uber drivers, who operate without required licences.

This summer, a group of taxi drivers went undercover as Uber passengers and posted vigilante-style videos of the rides online in an attempt to collect evidence.

Ottawa police and bylaw officers have laid dozens of charges against Uber drivers, resulting so far in more than $20,000 in fines, since the service launched in Ottawa in October 2014. Authorities, along with Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, have called on taxi drivers to leave the collection of evidence to them.

Watson compared taxi drivers secretly filming Uber drivers to thugs earlier this summer.

After the latest video began circulating online Saturday, Watson tweeted that he fast-tracked the taxi bylaw review, which started last week.

“These cabbies are hurting the reputation of all by their bullying,” Watson wrote in a tweet.

Toronto: On-Street Hourly Parking Prices to Increase

Update: see previous post – August 15, 2015 Toronto Parking Authority to Raise Parking Rates

In August, the Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) raised hourly and monthly rates at the parking lots. Now they are recommending raising the on-street parking rates for pay-and-display and on-street parking meters in 9 out of 44 Wards in Toronto.
In August, the Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) raised hourly and monthly rates at the parking lots. Now they are recommending raising the on-street parking rates (from .25 cents to $1) for pay-and-display and on-street parking meters in 9 out of 44 Wards in Toronto.

see source

The Toronto Parking authority voted last month to raise half-hourly rates and monthly rates at fifty (50) different publicly-owned Green “P” parking lots, commencing on August 17 through to October, 2015. Those half hour and monthly parking rates increases didn’t affect the pay-and-display “P” parking or on-street metered parking.

Hourly parking rates will rise by a maximum of $1 in some downtown areas and as little as 25 cents in others.

For example:

  • Downtown, the $4 hourly rate area will be shifted north into an area bordered by Bloor Street, Bay Street Dundas Street and Spadina Avenue. Drivers here currently pay $3 an hour.
  • West of downtown, the $3 hourly rate area will be pushed west along College Street and Dundas Street West to Bathurst Street, where drivers currently pay $2.25 an hour.
  • Rates would jump to $3 an hour from $2.25 on St Clair Avenue West between Yonge Street and Avenue Road.
  • Other areas would see hourly parking jump to $2.25 an hour from $2. These include areas of Dundas Street West, Ossington Avenue and Chinatown and Kensington Market.
  • Drivers in Roncesvalles will see rates climb to $2 an hour from the current rate of $1.50 and along Queen West in Parkdale.

Free parking along certain streets in the evening hours will also end, under proposed changes. The complete list of changes are outlined in this city report.

Now the President of the Toronto Parking Authority, Lorne Persiko is urging Toronto City Council to raise the pay-and-display and on-street metered parking hourly rates, as well as modifying the hours of operation for these parking locations (see Wards 14, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 25, 27, 28.). Persiko is only recommending changes in nine (9) out of forty-four (44) wards within Toronto.

The TPA's Pay-and-Display On-Street Parking Machine.
The TPA’s Pay-and-Display On-Street Parking Machine.

Since the Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) took over all of Toronto’s public parking after the 1998 almalgamation, they have conducted two comprehensive parking reviews. In 2012, the City instructed the TPA to undertake a comprehensive review of hourly rates and hours of operation at on-street parking locations operated by way of pay-and-display parking machines on a three year cycle. This would be the third major review, with the next one (the fourth review) expected in 2018.

Mr. Lorne Persiko, President of the Toronto Parking Authority (TPA).
Mr. Lorne Persiko, President of the Toronto Parking Authority (TPA).

Adjustments to the hourly rate structure implemented as a result of the 2012 City Council decision, which were based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) since 2007.

Since the last increases in 2012, the TPA has increased the average paid parking rate by 11%.

In order to accomodate the changes that TPA’s Persiko is requesting, City Council would have to amend the City of Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 910, Parking MachinesSchedule I and the City of Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 910 Parking Machines and Parking Meters, Schedule III, Parking Meters.

These increases and changes to on-street parking are suppose to be in line with and reflect underlining changes to the Consumer Price Index overall, since the last increases and changes that were implemented in 2012.

Seventy-five (75%) percent of the net income generated by the TPA is transferred to the City of Toronto, with the remaining twenty-five (25%) percent retained by the TPA to fund its capital development program.
 
Financial Impact
These changes, if fully implemented, will generate approximately $1,500,000 in annual gross revenue and partially compensate for the overall decline in on-street parking revenue. The Authority will incur costs of $100,000 to implement the changes.

Hourly Rate Boundary Changes

Expand the $4.00 Hourly Rate Area northwards into parts of the current $3.00 hourly rate area. This adjustment addresses the high demand for parking, particularly in the Discovery District. In addition, further adjustments to the hourly operations on Sundays to start earlier in the day are proposed for the area.
Expand the $3.00 Hourly Rate Area westwards into parts of the $2.25 hourly rate area. This adjustment will extend the $3.00 per hour rate along Dundas St. W. and College St. W., from Spadina Ave. to Bathurst St., in order to address the high demand for parking with the increasing commercial activity westwards of the downtown. These parking spaces are currently set with a rate of $2.25 per hour.
Similar adjustments were made in 2012 along King St. W. and Queen St. W. and these changes have been successful at addressing changing parking demand.
Hourly Rate Changes from $2.25 to $3.00 per hour. Areas include:
• St. Clair Ave. W. (between Yonge St. and Avenue Rd.)
• Uptown Yonge St. Corridor. (from an area north of Merton St. to an area south of
Deloraine Rd.,)
These changes apply higher hourly rates to high demand commercial areas, to be
consistent with hourly rates charged in other Centres.
Hourly Rate Changes from $2.00 to $2.25 per hour. Areas include:
• Dundas St. W. (between Ossington Ave. and Shaw St.)
• Ossington Ave. (between Dundas St. W. and Queen St. W.)
• Queen St. W. (between Ossington Ave. and Dufferin St.)
• Chinatown – Kensington Area (south of the University of Toronto). The adjustment is
in line with the neighbouring $2.25 rate located immediately south of the area. The
rate change is needed to harmonize the hourly rates and address parking pressures in the area.
Hourly Rate Changes from $1.50 to $2.00 per hour. Areas include:
• Queen St. W. (between Roncesvalles Ave. and Gwynne Ave.)
• Roncesvalles Ave. (between Dundas St. W. and Queen St. W.) The rate change addresses the continued emergence of West Queen West, Parkdale and
Roncesvalles as high intensity retail areas and applies an hourly rate already in effect in similar areas of the City of Toronto. Hours of Operation Changes Extended Hours of Operation on Queen St. W., King St. W., and Ossington Ave.

Hours of Operation Changes

Extended Hours of Operation on Queen St. W., King St. W., and Ossington Ave. Extending the payment periods in certain areas of the City is needed to promote turnover in areas that attract large amounts of late evening activity and hence, on-street parking at night. Extended hours are currently in effect in the Entertainment District and in Yorkville. The following areas are being proposed for extended hours:
• King St. W, between University Ave. and Bathurst St.
• Queen St. W, between University Ave. and Ossington Ave.
• Ossington Ave., between Dundas St. W. and Queen St. W. (also with a proposed rate increase from $2.00 to $2.25 per hour)
Sunday Hours starting at 10 a.m. Where Sunday charging is in effect, the required payment (with limited exceptions) begin at 1 p.m. Sunday hours for parking are being proposed to start at 10 a.m. in select institutional locations to capture the increasing morning demand for parking on Sundays. Areas include:
• The Discovery District (from current Sunday start times of 1 p.m. to 10 a.m.).
• Yorkville (from current Sunday start time of 1p.m. to 10 a.m.).
Uptown Yonge St. Corridor changes in hours of operation and hourly rates. The area along the Uptown Yonge St. Corridor and its accompanying flankage streets, from an area north of Merton St. to an area south of Deloraine Rd., experiencing an increasing demand for parking in evenings. Further to the proposed increase in the rate from $2.25 to $3.00 per hour, extending the payment period from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m., similar to the changes to the North York Centre implemented in the 2012 rate review, are being proposed.
Miscellaneous Hours of Operation Changes. Areas include:
• Church St., between Alexander St. and Bloor St. E., changes to capture unpaid
parking during the morning (east-side only).
• Bloor St. E., between Sherbourne St. and Parliament St. (south-side only).
The solar power cell used to power Toronto Parking Authority (TPA)'s pay-and-display machines. The TPA manages an estimated 19,000 on-street parking spaces. The TPA utilizes leading technology in an environmentally responsible manner in its operations. As an example, the TPA has been using solar powered pay-and-display units since 1999, making it one of the first uses of photovoltaic technology by the City.
The solar power cell used to power Toronto Parking Authority (TPA)’s pay-and-display machines (and yes, they even work in the rain). The TPA manages an estimated 19,000 on-street parking spaces. The TPA utilizes leading technology in an environmentally responsible manner in its operations.
As an example, the TPA has been using solar powered pay-and-display units since 1999, making it one of the first uses of photovoltaic technology by the City.
On-Street Parking
The TPA manages an estimated 19,000 on-street parking spaces. The TPA
utilizes leading technology in an environmentally responsible manner in its operations.
As an example, the TPA has been using solar powered pay-and-display units since
1999, making it one of the first uses of photovoltaic technology by the City. Currently, 17,600 of on-street spaces are operated using 2,700 of these efficient and
economical pay-and-display machines, with the remaining spaces managed by single spaced meters.
Off-Street Parking
The TPA maintains approximately 21,500 off-street spaces in 203 facilities, which include 11 attended lots, 13 fully automated garages, and 179 unattended lots.
Additionally, the TPA is contracted to operate 13,800 spaces at Toronto Transit Commission park-and-ride facilities and parking lots, and 1,100 spaces in Toronto Community Housing Corporation parking lots. The TPA also supports the management of parking lots for the Parks, Forestry, and Recreation Division, and 2,175 parking spaces in facilities along the waterfront and other areas in Toronto
on a seasonal basis.
Structure
Under the City of Toronto Act, the Toronto Parking Authority is a City board and the City has full authority over its structure and mandate.
The TPA is governed by the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 179, “Parking Authority”. The Toronto Parking Authority Board of Directors consists of seven voting
members and one non-voting member:
  • Five Citizens (Voting);
  • Two Council Members (Voting); and
  • The City’s General Manager of Transportation Services, or designate (non-voting).

Ontario: Bicycle Safety

Update:

A bike must have a white front light and a red rear light or reflector if you ride between ½ hour before sunset and ½ hour after sunrise, and white reflective tape on the front forks and red reflective tape on rear forks. Cyclists riding bicycles without the required lights and reflectors will face fines between $60.00 and $500.00 up from the previous fine of $20.00..
A bike must have a white front light and a red rear light or reflector if you ride between ½ hour before sunset and ½ hour after sunrise, and white reflective tape on the front forks and red reflective tape on rear forks. Cyclists riding bicycles without the required lights and reflectors will face fines between $60.00 and $500.00 up from the previous fine of $20.00.

see source

Cycling guides

Learn more about safe cycling:

What is a bicycle?

A bicycle, or bike, is a vehicle that:

  • has one, two or three wheels (a unicycle, bicycle or tricycle)
  • has steering handlebars and pedals
  • does not have a motor. For motor-assisted bikes, read about electric bicycles or scooters and mopeds

Licence and registration

Bicycles do not require:

  • registration
  • licence plates
  • vehicle insurance
  • a driver’s licence

People of all ages can ride a bike.

Property of Ontario Motor Vehicle Tickets

Rules of the road

As a cyclist, you must share the road with others (e.g., cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, etc.).

Under Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act (HTA), a bicycle is a vehicle, just like a car or truck.

Cyclists:

  • must obey all traffic laws
  • have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers
  • cannot carry passengers – if your bicycle is only meant for one person

Riding on the right

You must stay as close to the right edge of the road whenever possible, especially if you’re slower than other traffic.

Where you can ride

You can ride on most roads, except:

  • controlled access highways, such as Ontario’s 400-series highways
  • across a road within a pedestrian cross-over – you must walk your bike to the other side, you cannot ride within a pedestrian cross-over.
Cyclists should be able to move around the City and arrive home without incident. In case there is an accident, it is important for cyclist's to wear helmets that will protect their heads in the event of a fall.
Cyclists should be able to move around the City and arrive home without incident. In case there is an accident, it is important for cyclist’s to wear safe and approved cyclist’s helmets that will protect their heads in the event of a fall.

Bike helmets

Children and youth

Bicycle helmet

By law, every cyclist under age 18 must wear an approved helmet.

Riders under 16 years old: a parent or guardian must make sure their child wears a helmet.

Adults

Helmets are not compulsory for adults over 18; but a helmet can greatly reduce the risk of permanent injury or death if you fall or collide. It is strongly recommended that all riders wear helmets.

Types of helmets

The best helmets:

  • are made to meet strict safety standards
  • fit properly when worn correctly

Bicycle safety resources

For more information about cycling safety, check out:

Frequently Asked Questions

Bicycle Helmets

Q1: What is the fine for not wearing a bicycle helmet?

All bicycle riders under the age of 18 need to wear an approved bicycle helmet when travelling on any public road. The total fine is $75.

Q2: How do I know which bicycle helmet to buy?

Look for a helmet that fits comfortably and meets safety standards. Check the inside of the helmet for stickers from one or more of the following organizations:

  • Canadian Standard Association: CAN/CSA D113.2-M89
  • Snell Memorial Foundation: Snell B90, Snell B95, Snell B90S, or Snell N94
  • American National Standard Institute: ANSI Z90.4-1984
  • American Society For Testing and Materials: ASTMF1447-94
  • British Standards Institute: BS6863:1989
  • Standards Association of Australia: AS2063.2-1990
  • United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) 16 CFR Part 1203

New Cycling Changes

Q1: What are the new cycling changes following the passing of Bill 31- Transportation Statute Law Amendment Act (Making Ontario’s Roads Safer), 2015

Effective September 1, 2015

  • All drivers of motor vehicles are required to maintain a minimum distance of one-metre, where practical, when passing cyclists on highways;
  • Persons who improperly open or leave opened the doors of motor vehicles on highways face increased penalties (commonly known as “dooring”).
  • The fine for non-compliance with bicycle light, reflector and reflective requirements will increase; and
  • Cyclists are permitted to use lamps that produce intermittent flashes of red light.

New One-Metre Passing Law

Q1: What is the penalty to drivers for not leaving a minimum of one-metre distance when passing a cyclist?

The penalty for not leaving a minimum one-metre passing distance is a set fine of $85.00 plus a $5 court fee plus a $20 victim surcharge fine for a total payable of $110.00.

Drivers who contest their ticket by going to court may face a fine of up to $500 if found guilty (fine range is $60 to $500). Upon conviction, two demerit points will also be assigned against the individual’s driver record.

Q2: Will cyclists also be required to leave a minimum one-metre distance when passing a vehicle?

Cyclists are not required to leave a specific one-metre space; however, they are required to obey all the rules of the road.   Cyclists who are being overtaken should turn out to the right to allow the vehicle to pass.

Q3: What if there isn’t enough room to allow for a one-metre passing distance?  Can a vehicle cross the centre median line to pass the cyclist?

A motorist may, if done safely, and in compliance with the rules of the road, cross the centre line of a roadway in order to pass a cyclist. If this cannot be done, he or she must wait behind the cyclist until it is safe to pass.


Dooring. Cyclists have to be more cautious in high traffic areas, especially while passing parked vehicles.
Dooring.
Cyclists have to be more cautious in high traffic areas, especially while passing parked vehicles.

Dooring

Q1. What are the new increased penalties for “dooring” offenses?

The new penalties for improper opening of a vehicle door (for driver or passenger) are a set fine of $300.00 upon conviction and 3 demerit points. The total payable fine is $365.00 ($set fine plus $60 victim fine surcharge and $5 court costs).

The current HTA set fine for “dooring” offence is $85.00 upon conviction and the total payable fine is $110 ($set fine plus $20 victim fine surcharge and $5 court fees). Additionally a conviction results in 2 demerit points being added to the individual’s driver record.

Q2. Does the “dooring” law only apply to cyclists?

Although cyclists may be the most commonly perceived road user affected by this behaviour, the “dooring” law applies to all road users and is not specific to cyclists.

The government is committed to helping ensure the safety of not only cyclists but all road users.


Increasing the Fine for Cyclists for Non-Compliance with Light, Reflector and Reflective Material Requirements

Q1. Why is the government increasing the fines for cyclists with improper light, reflector and reflective tape?

Currently, the fine for non-compliance with bicycle light, reflector and reflective requirements, carries a maximum fine of $20 which is less than the majority of set fines for motorists and cyclists.

Increasing this fine will put this violation in line with all other cycling violations.


Allowing Cyclists to use Intermittent Flashing Red Lights

Q1. Why is the government allowing cyclists to use a red flashing light? Won’t this be distracting to other road users?

Red flashing lights were previously not allowed under the Highway Traffic Act even though the majority of cyclists were already using rear lamps that produce intermittent flashes of red lightto make themselves more visible to others.

Considering the safety benefits from the use of these lights, and to prevent cyclists from potentially being charged, the Highway Traffic Act was amended to allow bicycles to use lamps that produce intermittent flashes of red lights.

A motorist may, if done safely, and in compliance with the rules of the road, cross the centre line of a roadway in order to pass a cyclist. If this cannot be done, he or she must wait behind the cyclist until it is safe to pass. 


Recommended for you

Ontario: Harsher Penalties Called for Driver’s that Injure or Kill Pedestrians and Cyclists

Update:

The coalition pushing for a vulnerable road user law is composed of United Senior Citizens of Ontario, Kids at Play, Cycle Toronto, Walk Toronto and others. It is also recommending more licence suspensions, driver education and community service.
The coalition pushing for a vulnerable road user law is composed of United Senior Citizens of Ontario, Kids at Play, Cycle Toronto, Walk Toronto and others. It is also recommending more licence suspensions, driver education and community service.

see source

A group of lawyers and advocates is calling for tougher penalties when drivers kill or injure pedestrians and cyclists.

There will be food and extended family. There will even be cake.

But David Stark and his three boys, aged 6 to 12, will end the day on Thursday by scattering some of the ashes of their beloved wife and mother on what would have been her 43rd birthday.

First, however, Erica Stark’s grieving husband will join other survivors and a coalition of advocacy groups at a downtown press conference calling on the Ontario government to levy harsher penalties on drivers who injure or kill pedestrians and cyclists.

On Nov. 6, Erica dropped her car off for a routine oil change. She also wanted the winter tires installed.

“There wasn’t a hint of snow in the forecast, but that’s just who Erica was. Very organized, safety conscious, she wanted to have winter tires put on before the first snowfall arrived,” said David Stark on Wednesday.

Erica, who helped train service dogs, decided to take her four-legged companion for a walk while she waited. She was near Midland Ave. and Gild Dr., when a van mounted the curb and killed her, placing Erica on the list of 78 pedestrians and cyclists who have died on Toronto roads in the past two years.

David Stark says the penalty for careless driving under Section 130 of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act — $400 to $2,000 and a maximum jail sentence of six months — is “woefully inadequate.” He wants tougher deterrents.

“What would be fair would be $50,000. If people knew that if they chose to look at their cellphone or read a message while driving and it results in severely injuring someone or killing someone, that careless driving charge should come with a $50,000 fine. If people have to take out a loan or re-mortgage their home, so be it,” he said.

Drivers should also have to appear in court for victim impact statements, Stark said.

“As it is right now, people who are charged never have to set foot in court. They can be represented by a lawyer or their agent.”

Stark said listening to the victims’ families is “part of being accountable, listening to the impact of their action, their decision to do something stupid while driving.”

The coalition pushing for a vulnerable road user law is composed of United Senior Citizens of Ontario, Kids at Play, Cycle Toronto, Walk Toronto and others. It is also recommending more licence suspensions, driver education and community service.

Drivers who hit pedestrians and cyclists are frequently not charged or have their charges reduced, according to advocates and lawyers.

“The mindset is still one that, where there is no intention to do harm, then ‘it’s just an accident’. We believe this attitude must change among police, prosecutors and judges,” said Albert Koehl, a lawyer and cycling advocate.

Two Ontario coroner’s reviews in 2012 called such deaths “preventable” and not merely “accidents,” said Koehl.

The coalition isn’t primarily concerned with punishing offenders, he said, but rather with sending a strong message to drivers “that before they get behind the wheel of a car, before they text while driving, or open a door into traffic, or drive 60 km/h in a 40 km/h zone, they will think twice.”

Tougher law is a natural extension of the coroner’s recommendations, said Patrick Brown, a personal injury lawyer who, like Koehl, worked on those reports. New York, Illinois and Oregon have already introduced such laws and other states are considering them.

“The injury and death toll this year tell us we need it here. We need additional deterrence to provide safe passage to these vulnerable road users. When I see the fines that have been given out in cases where I represent the families and survivors, the penalties are ridiculously low,” he said.

Stark won’t speculate on what caused the driver to lose control of the van that killed his wife, and the case is still before the courts.

While they wait for an outcome, the Stark boys, Dylan, Gavin and Matthew, are seeing a grief counsellor.

“I feel they’re bottling up some of their emotions. That may be to protect themselves because it’s too painful,” said their dad.

“They may also be bottling things up because they want to protect me; they don’t want me to feel too sad.”

Cycling and Pedestrian Deaths

25%: Canadian traffic fatalities involving vulnerable road users

30%: Cycling deaths caused by speeding drivers, according to the Ontario Coroner’s 2010 report

28%: Cycling deaths caused by driver inattention

7: Motorists that died on Toronto roads in 2013

40: Pedestrians that died on Toronto roads in 1990 and 2013

2: Cyclists that died on Toronto roads in 1990

4: Cyclists that died on Toronto roads in 2013

67: per cent of pedestrians

$85: Fine for riding a bike on the sidewalk

$85: Fine for driver who hit Toronto cyclist Ryan Carriere in 2005

Toronto: City will Grapple With UberX and Lowering Taxi Fares

Update:

Toronto City Hall where City Council meets to conduct Council meetings. As of July 2010, taxis have a meter drop fare of $4.25 to start your ride, with an additional $0.25 for every following 0.143 km (about two blocks) or for every 29 seconds waiting time. In addition, there is an extra charge for more than 4 passengers, $2.00 each additional person. HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) is included in the fare. Tomorrow, City Council will meet and determine if the Taxi drop fare of $4.25 should be lowered by a dollar to $3.25, amongst other changes.
Toronto City Hall (Nathan Philips Square) where City Council meets to conduct Council meetings.
As of July 2010, taxis have a meter drop fare of $4.25 to start your ride, with an additional $0.25 for every following 0.143 km (about two blocks) or for every 29 seconds waiting time. In addition, there is an extra charge for more than 4 passengers, $2.00 each additional person. HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) is included in the fare.
Tomorrow, City Council will meet and determine if the Taxi drop fare of $4.25 should be lowered by a dollar to $3.25, amongst other changes.

see source

City staff are proposing new rules to regulate UberX in Toronto and recommending that cab flat fees drop $1, to $3.25, to help the beleaguered taxi industry compete with the ride-hailing company, the Star has learned.

The recommendations are included in a new report by the municipal licensing and standards division, which earlier this year tried unsuccessfully to shut down Uber’s operations with a court injunction, arguing that public safety was at risk.

The taxi industry says the UberX service, which allows passengers to hire regular drivers using a smartphone app — usually at prices cheaper than a taxi — has caused a dramatic drop in fare revenue. The City has been issuing tickets to UBER driver's under section 39 of the Highway Traffic Act, that carries a minimum fine of $300.
The taxi industry says the UberX service, which allows passengers to hire regular drivers using a smartphone app — usually at prices cheaper than a taxi — has caused a dramatic drop in fare revenue. The City has been issuing tickets to UBER driver’s under section 39 of the Highway Traffic Act, that carries a minimum fine of $300.

City council voted in July to review the existing bylaws and to recommend changes to ensure the taxi business and Uber are on a level playing field.

The taxi industry says the UberX service, which allows passengers to hire regular drivers using a smartphone app — usually at prices cheaper than a taxi — has caused a dramatic drop in fare revenue.

Major Taxi Companies (Brokerages) in Toronto
 Name Colour of Cars  Telephone Number
 Beck Orange/Green 416-751-5555
 Maple Leaf Blue With White Stripe 416-465-5555
 CO-OP Red/Yellow 416-504-2667
 Diamond Black/Orange 416-366-6868
 Royal Dark Blue 416-777-9222
 Crown Yellow 416-292-1212

After consulting with representatives from UberX and the taxi industry, licensing staff came up with draft proposals for council to consider, including the recommendation that the flat fee charged to passengers entering a cab in Toronto be lowered to $3.25 from $4.25. Mayor John Tory has said he supports lower taxi fares.

That rate has increased by nearly 40 per cent since 2005, when it was set at $3 following a spike in fuel costs. The introduction of the HST led to the last hike, in 2010. Toronto taxi fares are among the highest among North American peer cities, according to the Toronto Taxicab Industry Review final report.

Police have charged a number of UBER drivers under section 39 of the Highway Traffic Act, which carries a $300.00 fine upon conviction.
Police have charged a number of UberX drivers under section 39 of the Highway Traffic Act, which carries a $300.00 fine upon conviction. The taxi industry is complaining that UberX offers a basic fare of $2.50 (taxi’s start at $4.25) and charge for additonal time and kilometres and that to compete, the taxi meter drop fare of $4.25 should be lowered in order to compete with UberX.

In addition to a flat fee, cab riders are charged 25 cents for each additional 0.143 kilometre and 25 cents for each 29 seconds the meter is on but the taxi is not moving. Those charges would not change under the proposals, a source said.

The thrust of the other recommendations involves including Uber in a new bylaw with the creation of a new licensing category called Transportation Network Companies (TNC), a designation already in place in several U.S. cities, a source said.

It’s expected TNCs would be required to carry commercial liability insurance when a passenger is in the vehicle, pay an annual permit fee and conduct driver background checks. Details will be announced Wednesday.

Taxi companies have argued that UberX drivers are lawbreakers who get a free ride while licensed cabs are subject to heavy regulation and must bear additional costs such as licensing fees, insurance and maintenance.
Taxi companies have argued that UberX drivers are lawbreakers who get a free ride while licensed cabs are subject to heavy regulation and must bear additional costs such as licensing fees, insurance and maintenance.

Taxi companies have argued that UberX drivers are lawbreakers who get a free ride while licensed cabs are subject to heavy regulation and must bear additional costs such as licensing fees, insurance and maintenance.

Uber has argued it is a technology company that can’t be governed by the same rules that apply to the traditional taxi industry.

The city’s licensing committee will consider the Ground Transportation Review report next week. Council will have final approval.

Taxi drivers are feeling the financial crunch as they find themselves in competition with an interloper, who seem to ignore city bylaws and Provincial laws.
Taxi drivers are feeling the financial crunch as they find themselves in competition with an interloper, who seem to ignore city bylaws and Provincial laws.