Monday, July 15, 2024
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“Fundamental overhaul of the licensing system” required

Unlimited drivers depresses wages, competes with TTC says Europe’s Hopp

Toronto should take over all licensing of PTC drivers, said one of the participants on the June 25th Private Transportation Company (PTC) stakeholder livestream.

“I’m Johnny Monroe, I work for Hopp, we are a ride sharing company founded in Europe. We are planning to launch in Canada later this year. So, we hope to meet as many drivers as possible,” Monroe told Licensing and Standards staff and facilitators from Gladki Planning.  

“I have a comment about the licensing limit. We agree with the mayor that more action is needed to prevent what we would call ‘unrestricted growth’ of this market. It saturates the market, and leads to negative outcomes and wages.

“Also, it competes with the TTC instead of, instead of supporting it. In our view, these two capping proposals are not really viable. The pause doesn’t really address the underlying issues in the city, and the cap on driver licenses just entrenches a position of incumbent providers,” Monroe told the call, which was the final meeting of the five pubic stakeholder consultations held between June 12 and June 25th.

“Our proposal is that we move to a system where Toronto itself licenses the drivers, and we take the power out of the hands of the PTC companies,” he said.

“We think that’s better for communication with drivers. We think it gives drivers the ability to cancel and renew their own licenses and have the dignity of owning their own destiny in terms of this work. And we also would like to see L&S equipped with significantly more resources for enforcing in this market. Those really are our key perspectives. I think in the interim, if the city did want to move to a system of capping, then I think capping the number of drivers and allowing competition between platforms. So that if a driver has at least one license with a PTC, they should be able to use that license or obtain licenses for other PTCs.

“And we should be able to let drivers operate for as many PTCs as they want with more competition in the market, we think it’s better for safety features or driver wages, and we think it needs some more efficient use of the vehicles as well.

“We think that fundamental overhaul of the licensing system in the city is what’s required to improve the outcomes for everyone here,” Monroe told the call, which had 106 participants.

The L&S staff report on the Vehicle for Hire industry is scheduled to be completed in November, 2024 and is designed to address the enormous number of rideshare vehicles (65,000) now licensed in Toronto’s open market as well as driver’s low earnings.

Click the white arrow at left to view/hear the video.