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49% of rideshare users came from TTC, 5% from private cars, Dr. James Cooper tells Committee

Dr. James Cooper, Director of Transport Research Services of Austin, Texas was one of the online deputants at the November 30 Licensing Committee meeting. Cooper brought a unique perspective to the meeting, given that he has both a global and a Toronto-centric view of the vehicle for hire portfolio.

Dr. Cooper was part of the Taxi Research Partners team which was contracted to conduct a major assessment of Toronto’s Taxi service in 2013, and which found Toronto had an appropriate number of licensed Taxis at approximately 5500 (currently, Toronto has about 47,000 rideshare drivers and about 7,500 licensed Taxi drivers, for a total of roughly 10 times as many drivers as in 2013).

When asked by Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam about the impact of suspending the issuance of vehicle for hire licenses before the holiday season and whether this would have a negative effect on customer wait times, Dr. Cooper noted:

“There’s something called the Bang and Olufsen effect, which is the actual amount of expenditure to achieve the last 5 per cent of benefit. For every person to be served within a certain time, every single vehicle out there needs to be a PTC or for a taxi. So, to highlight the effect of serving everybody in a very precise timescale avoids and ignores the conflict between other traffic and the provision of PTCs. It’s not always possible to achieve particular service levels.

“That was a finding that we see over and over again, the numbers of vehicles create required for service levels of a particular type will in and of themselves create significant harm by their presence, not just with emissions, but things like avoidable accidents.”

To listen to Dr. Cooper’s deputation and the questions and answers, click the links below. Each segment is about four minutes long.

Click here to read Dr. Cooper’s submission to the November 30 Committee meeting