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Abdul Mohamoud, CEO of Co-op Cabs Photo: Taxi News
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Charging stations, vehicle cost, insurance items covered by Abdul Mohamoud of Co-op Cabs a ED Committee

“Most drivers do not have a home or house or private garage with a charging station”

Following is the transcript of Abdul Mohamoud’s September 21st deputation to Toronto’s Economic Development Committee. Taxi News will share transcripts of additional deputations in the days ahead.

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“Hi, my name is Abdul Mohamoud, I am the CEO and General Manager of Co-op Cabs.

Co-op is a true cooperative, owned by its members. And most of them are on the road driving as we speak, so I am here to speak on their behalf.

A lot of things should be addressed with respect to the number of vehicles on the road, but I’m just going to speak about the obstacle that the drivers face with regards to Net Zero.

Most of the drivers do not have a home or house or private garages to charge their EVs.

And the other thing is the charging infrastructure is not in place. It will be difficult for cab drivers who work a lot of hours, 8-10 hours a day, to take a downtime when there’s not enough charging stations available.

The second thing is, the entry cost of these vehicles are too high when compared to the normal hybrid, which are basically half the price of these vehicles.

On top of that, I think it was mentioned, lack of commercial insurance for taxis.

As I cycled back a little bit, the taxi industry always followed the initial regulation that the city had prior to 2016.

Every year, we were given a list of prescribed vehicles that we can purchase as taxi cabs that reduce emissions.

In 2016, when Uber was licensed, that was diluted, as well as other quality assurance. And that’s seven years ago and meant basically open entry: as many vehicles on the road, you can buy whatever you want, you can drive whatever you want. Now, seven years later, we see after seven years, we’re going 365 degrees, to zero emission.

I think that’s just doesn’t make sense. I brought it up in the Zero Emissions working group, where we talked about the charging infrastructure, we’ve talked about the emission issues. And also, when we ask “Is there a roadmap to get us there? We’ve got to walk before we run.”

And we’d like to see what happens to people buying vehicles next year, we can just buy a V-8 and continue what’s on the road and polluting the air as we speak?

So, I think we should have a sensible starting point with base emission regulations for the vehicle for hire, adequate numbers of vehicles on the road at any given time. Because you got unlimited vehicles, so they will load in at the same time. So, that’s one thing is going to drive a lot of taxi drivers out of business majority to them and over the hurry.

The pie is sliced thinner for them already. And now the city’s asking them to buy $80,000 vehicles, upfront. In today’s economy, with higher interest rates, as well as cost of living and inflation. So, the timing, it’s something else.

The other thing I’d like to point out is the Accessible vehicle extension that was recommended one year, which is welcome.

But that is a little bit of you know dangerous as well because it extends for model years 2014, 15 And 16.  We have to change four model years replacing in one year, which will be heavy. So, I recommend that we adopt the system similar to what was passed for the accessible 10 model years until 2025, and then go back to normal.

And the other thing is removing fees. The taxi industry pays the highest fee of any other business in the City of Toronto.

is recommending now to go back to the $1,200 plus the right to drive another $200. So, to be all business and driving a cab you’re looking at about a $50, $100. So that is very excessive, and subsidy will charge you the highest to have any other business when we give you back a little bit to buy a very expensive vehicle.

So, there are a lot of things wrong with this report. And I think it can be corrected to assist to move forward. There in a better way that doesn’t hurt a lot of people and put them out of business.

Thank you.”