A final report on Toronto’s taxicab industry is recommending city council endorse pilot projects on the feasibility of using fire hydrants as cabstands in the downtown core as well as implementing “hail spots.”
The city’s licensing division is also recommending that drivers be allowed to charge passengers up to $25 upfront “when they deem necessary,” as well as giving drivers the ability to charge a $25 vomit, or cleaning fee if a passenger soils the taxicab.
Council is also being asked to endorse the formation of a working group to study whether all cabs should be equipped with electronic payment technology. About 65 per cent of Toronto’s cabs currently have the terminals.
They’re among 40 proposals contained in the “Taxicab Industry Review – Final Report,” which was released Thursday. It will be considered by the city’s Licensing and Standards Committee at its meeting next Thursday and is on the city council agenda February 19, 2014.
On the industry side, the report recommends that as of July 1, all new taxi licences issued by Toronto will require that the vehicle be wheelchair accessible. Only 3.5 per cent are currently wheelchair accessible.
As well, 1,313 Ambassador licences will be transitioned to a new Toronto Taxicab Licence requiring the vehicle to be wheelchair accessible.
“Toronto has a significant lack of wheelchair accessible taxicabs,” the report says.
“Most of these taxicabs are not readily available for on-demand taxicab service because they are contracted to deliver public transportation through TTC Wheel-trans. This means that residents and visitors who are in wheelchairs cannot expect on-demand taxicab service in Toronto as is available to other passengers.”
The proposals call for 6 per cent, or 290, of all Toronto taxis to be wheelchair accessible by 2015 — in time for Toronto hosting the Pan Am Games.
The report says the recommendations take into account “significant concerns” raised by the industry with regard to upfront capital costs. “By proposing a multi-faceted and phased implementation of accessible taxi service, the accessible strategy strikes a balance between accessible goals and industry viability.”
The report stems from the Taxicab Industry Review which began two years ago and involved input from more than 4,500 stakeholders, 40 consultations, 100 stakeholder meetings and surveys.
This item (see Final Report above) will be considered by Licensing and Standards Committee on January 23, 2014. It will be considered by City Council on February 19, 2014, subject to the actions of the Licensing and Standards Committee.