There are no replacement vans available to replace Accessible Taxis now on the street. Photo: Co-op Cabs
Expanding the proposed lifespan of Toronto’s Accessible Taxi vans from 7 years to 10 years is a good idea, and it should be made permanent, says Abdul Mohamoud, CEO of Co-op Cabs.
Supply chain issues impacting the production and availability of new vehicles, hybrid batteries and computer chips have resulted in a delay of 18 months or longer for new vehicles to be available.
“There are no vehicles to buy. There are no replacement vehicles available for purchase,” Mohamoud says. “Without an extension, Accessible vans will come off of the streets and they will not be replaced. Toronto will be left with no Accessible service.”
Licensing and Standards staff have recommended a temporary 3-year extension on the life of customized Accessible vans in a report which will be considered as part of the General Government and Licensing Committee meeting on July 4th, 2022.
“It’s good that Committee is taking time to consider this now, but why also take the time to consider it again later? We would like to see them make the 10-year extension permanent. The City’s own Accessible vehicles are granted a 10-year lifespan, and they don’t have a ‘hard stop’ at 10 years. At the 10-year mark, the City considers the condition of the individual vehicle and also, the availability of replacement vehicles,” Mohamoud points out.
“The Taxi industry should get the same 10-year lifespan that Wheel-Trans vehicles get automatically.”
According to the report submitted by Licensing staff on June 20, “Staff have heard concerns from the taxicab industry and engaged with TTC WheelTrans and accessible vehicle converters in the GTA about the current market availability of wheelchair-accessible vehicles to replace the expiring licensed wheelchair-accessible taxicabs. Due to on-going supply chain issues, which have affected the motor vehicle industry, it is anticipated that there will be an insufficient number of vans that can be converted to be wheelchair-accessible in Toronto and surrounding areas within the timeframe necessary to comply with the existing requirements of Chapter 546.” the June 20 report states.
“This may prevent wheelchair-accessible taxicab owners from being able to replace their vehicles resulting in reduced availability of accessible vehicles for the TTC Wheel-Trans’ contracted services and effect on-demand wheelchair-accessible transportation services in the city.”
Therefore, staff recommend amending Chapter 546 “…such that, until December 31, 2025, a wheelchair-accessible taxicab may be up to 10 model years old. On January 1, 2026, Extending the Vehicle Age of Accessible Taxicabs Page 2 of 6 this provision would be repealed such that wheelchair-accessible taxicabs will again be required to be no more than 7 model years old.
“This will provide the flexibility for taxicab operators to continue to provide accessible transportation services while providing time for supply chain issues to resolve and taxicab owners to source and purchase appropriate replacement vehicles. Taxicab owners will continue to be required to submit annual mechanical safety inspection certificates and comply with all safety and maintenance requirements in Chapter 546 to ensure that the wheelchair-accessible vehicles continue to be safe to operate as taxicabs.”
GGL Committee will consider this item, #GL32.29, on July 4th, 2022.