Toronto: New Regulations for Taxis, Limousines & UberX et al

Update: see previous posts – April 6, 2016 Toronto: To Announce New Regulations for Taxi’s & UberX, Jan.31/16 Quebec taxi drivers to file injunction to ban Uber, Jan.29/16 UBER: Edmonton legalizes It, Is Toronto Next?, Dec.26/15 UberX Drivers Face New Insurance Challenges

Nathan Philips Square which contains Toronto's City Hall. The parking ticket counter at Metro Hall at 55 John Street will close today and be temporarily re-located to the main floor at Toronto's City Hall at 100 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
The City of Toronto released a report on regulations that will regulate taxis, limousines and UberX drivers and vehicles. The report will be voted on by the City Council on May 3, 2016. See the “New Vehicle-for-Hire By-law” to regulate Toronto’s Ground Transportation Industry below. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

see source

Following the release of 103 recommendations for a new by-law regulating taxis, limo’s and UberX – it becomes clear that the objective of creating a “level playing field” between taxis and UberX wasn’t met. Naturally UberX quickly responded that it was satisfied with the new changes to the by-law. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

On September 30, 2015 Toronto City Council met to deal with this issue. On that date, City Council dealt with a number of issues surrounding ground transportation in Toronto, mainly Taxis and UberX.

Toronto Mayor John Tory, moved the following motion:

“That City Council request the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to report back to the Licensing and Standards Committee in Spring 2016 on a framework to regulate alternate ground transportation providers and to begin consulting on the appropriate regulations to ensure a level playing field in the ground transportation industry”.

A number of amendments to the motion were moved/seconded and carried:

  • City Council amend the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 545, Appendix C, “Tariff A”, to reduce the initial cost, referred to as ‘the drop fee’, from $4.25 to $3.25 effective November 1, 2015.
  • City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to review provisions of the Municipal Code related to taxicabs and report back to Licensing and Standards Committee by January 2016 with recommendations to lessen regulatory burden and enhance competitiveness in the municipally-licensed taxicab industry, as outlined in Attachment 1, including reviewing:
    a. current fare structure;
    b. vehicle requirements;
    c. vehicle inspections; and
    d. taxicab training
  • That City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to report to the Licensing and Standards Committee:a. on the existence or absence of legislation and or regulations that protect consumers against price gouging or surge pricing by ground transportation providers during civic emergencies, electrical black outs, transit disruptions or other events that cause an immediate demand for alternative transportation options and if such Federal or Provincial legislation and or regulations do not exist, the report should include recommendations on how the City of Toronto might address spike pricing in civic emergencies;
    b. on the Provincial regulations governing Pearson International Airport rider pick up and recommendations on the process on how that can be reformed to allow Toronto taxi drivers to pick up rides at the airport; and
    c. with recommendations for the in-vehicle posting of the Harmonized Sales Tax number held by either the driver or the cab owner so that it can be viewed by passengers.
  • That City Council amend Motion 1 by Mayor Tory by adding the words “equitably” after the word “to”, deleting the word “alternate” and inserting the word “all”, and adding the words “that considers the City of Toronto’s accessibility objectives” so that it now reads as follows:That City Council request the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to report back to the Licensing and Standards Committee in 2016 on a framework to equitably regulate all ground transportation providers and to begin consulting on the appropriate regulations to ensure a level playing field that considers the City of Toronto’s accessibility objectives in the ground transportation industry.
  • City Council request Uber to stop operating in the City of Toronto until such time as the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards reports on a framework to regulate alternate ground transportation providers.2. City Council request the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to report to the January 22, 2016 meeting of the Licensing and Standards Committee on the framework.

In a vote held shortly before 8 p.m., councillors voted 32-12 in favour of Mayor John Tory’s motion asking staff to come back with a new ‘regulatory framework.’

One thing is clear, all that voted in favour of the main motion or subsequent amendments to the main motion, believed that after motion went to the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, that a proposed by-law would be returned that would reflect and ensure a level playing field between the taxi industry and UberX.

Many of the 32 councillors are disappointed with the proposed by-law that the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, Ms. Tracey Cook brought back after six (6) months of consultation and consideration, as they don’t believe that it is a balanced by-law that ensures a level playing field between taxis and UberX.

Ms. Cook delivered the following regulatory framework “A New Vehicle-for-Hire By-law to Regulate Toronto’s Ground Transportation Industry” which contained 103 recommendations. The recommendations are numbered from 1 to 103.

Some of the troubling recommendations, which didn’t appear in City Council’s Sept.30/15 motion:

Recommendations:

#26  – City Council delete the requirement that snow tires be installed each winter. Currently taxis must have snow tires beginning on Dec.1 and ending at the end of March.  Toronto police cruisers and TTC vehicles are not equipped with snow tires and there is no requirement that they have them – maybe this is the reason why some buses can’t make it up a steep hill, when there is snow on the ground.

What this will mean is that UberX or a similar company will not require its’ vehicle operators to drive in a vehicle equipped with snow tires.

#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.

This will now mean that taxi drivers and UberX drivers will not be required to complete CPR training and First Aid Certification – which is currently a required for a licensed taxi driver in Toronto.

#31 – City Council delete the requirement for command of the English language as a condition of licensing, effective immediately.

Statistics Canada reported the following in its’ 2011 Census that English was the mother tongue of nearly 58% of the population of Canada (or 19.1 million persons), and French was that of nearly 22% (or 7.2 million persons). As for the language most often spoken at home, English was spoken by 66% of the population and French by 21%.

It is difficult to imagine taxi drivers and UberX drivers that don’t have command of the English language attempting to communciate with passengers.

#93 – 96 – Annual licences for taxi drivers and UberX drivers:

  • Taxi drivers must pay a yearly $290 fee for their licence.
  • Uber drivers must pay a yearly $10 fee for their licence, but 20 cents per trip will be paid to the city.

This isn’t a level playing field – a taxi driver has to pay a $290 licence fee versus an UberX driver who is only responsible for paying a $10 licence fee.

#24,49 & 75 – Vehicles should be mechanically fit when transportation passengers and sharing the road with other vehicles. Here is a double standard that the proposed by-law is putting forward:

  • Taxis: still required to get semi-annual inspections at city-run garages.
  • Uber: required to get annual inspections at any garage in the city that meets the city’s requirements.

Why is the City moving backwards?

There is no protection of consumers against surge prices that UberX practices. With surge pricing, the Uber fare rates automatically increase, at skyrocket prices, when the taxi demand is higher than drivers around you.

There is no fare structures to protect consumers against UberX practices.

There is a limit against the number of taxis in Toronto, but none against companies like UberX. Currently there are about 5,000 taxis compared to the 1,500 that UberX claims works for them. This means that UberX and likeminded companies can flood the streets with occasional drivers, well in excess of 1,500 vehicles.

These 103 proposals for a new by-law are a work in progress.  This set of proposals will be going to the Licensing and Standards Committee, where this proposed by-law will be discussed in depth, on April 14, 2016 by the Committee. Changes and amendments to this proposed by-law can take place on that day, before it proceeds to City Council on May 3, 2016. This Committee is comprised of the following City Councillors:

Councillor Cesar Palacio, Chair

Councillor Jim Karygiannis, Vice Chair

Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker

Councillor Frank Di Giorgio

Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti

Councillor Josh Matlow

Every member of this committee voted (save and except Councillor Josh Matlow) against Mayor Tory’s motion on September 30, 2016. These five (5) Councillors formed part of the twelve (12) Councillors that voted against the thirty-two (32) who voted in favour of this motion. This will probably mean that scheduled meeting of April 14, 2016 (that is scheduled for a day) will probably run a couple of days for this committee meeting. This will be a very interesting meeting.

Following the work of this committee, the proposed by-law or amended proposed by-law will proceed to the City Council on May 3, 2016 for additional discussion and possible implementation.

The 103 proposals put forth today will not help taxi drivers who are currently experiencing economic loss. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

See 103 Proposals within New By-law

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

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Public Notice Given
Origin
(March 31, 2016) Report from the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards
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 Ambassador taxicab, 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:
  1. is free from mechanical defects;
  2. is properly equipped as per the bylaw;
  3. has a clean exterior and interior;
  4. 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 taxicab must 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:
  1. set and post rates for limousines;
  2. post business contact information for the public;
  3. only dispatch licensed limousines driven by individuals holding valid Vehicle-for-Hire driver’s licence;
  4. keep records of every vehicle dispatched for 12 months, including:
    1. Date and time of dispatch;
    2. Pick-up location and destination of every trip (by reference to closest intersection); and
    3. Name of limousine driver and owner.
  1. 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;
  2. keep a record showing the total number of requests for service received;
  3. provide records as described above to ML&S within 5 business days of request; and
  4. 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:
  1. 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;
  2. limousine drivers to carry the original or a copy of the most recent Safety Standards Certificate in the vehicle at all times; and
  3. 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 licence requirements.

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:
  1. 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;
  2. maintain Criminal Record checks and Driver’s Records checks for all drivers permitted by the PTC to provide transportation commencing in the City;
  3. maintain records of completion and renewal proving that driver successfully meets Screening Criteria, as mandated by the City;
  4. 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;
  5. provide the information requested in the format prescribed by the Executive Director within 30 days of the request; and
  6. 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:
  1. For trips involving one passenger commencing or terminating in the City:

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.
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 UberX provides.

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.

Taxi. Taxi driver’s are working harder than ever to earn enough to look after their families. They wanted the City to “level the playing field” between themselves and UberX but were disappointed when these proposals were released, as the playing field was clearly not levelled. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

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)

Unoccupied taxis sitting on a taxi stand waiting for a call from their despatchers. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
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