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.
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