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GTAA response, corrections request on Taxi News column

The following submission has been received in response to Taxi News’ February 9th opinion column on changes to the Taxi and Limo Conditions of Permit at Pearson International Airport by the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA).

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From: Fabrice de Dongo Associate Director, Media Relations
Greater Toronto Airports Authority

As discussed, we have some concerns with some inaccurate content in your February 9 article, which you indicate was from correspondence previously shared with federal and provincial government leaders by one of the GTAA’s permit holders. GTAA’s discussion with many of the taxi and limo permit holders has been very productive, I hope you’ll agree that any misinformation about a complex and emotionally charged issue like this can quickly lead to unnecessary tension and, worse yet, poor and misguided decisions.

First and foremost, access to media and/or advertising assets across the airport – including inside Toronto Pearson’s baggage halls – is available to airport or aviation partners, including TNCs and Taxis/Limos. Since 2019, the GTAA has provided roughly $3 Million in advertising to promote official airport Taxis and Limos in the baggage halls – at no cost to the operators. We have also turned down advertising requests from Uber at the Arrivals area directly adjacent Taxis and Limos pickup areas. To that point, Uber signage is minimal, and pick-up is at a lower level whereas Taxis and Limos’ pickups are at the more quickly accessible Arrivals areas of both terminals.

Second, the GTAA has no control over the fares charged by TNC providers. More specifically, their proprietary software influences and sets customer-facing rates, which fluctuate over the course of the day based on the algorithm. While a schedule of rates for TNCs and Taxis and Limos outlines who pays what, it’s worth noting that, depending on the category of service a passenger selects with a TNC provider, the TNC can pay up to three times more for pickup than a Taxis and Limos.

Finally, we work very closely with Taxis and Limos to ensure that they have primary access to travelers, including provisions about where and for how long they can queue, where pickups can occur throughout the year (Taxis and Limos are provided prime curb space for pickups), and the levels of amenities available to each group. It’s also worth noting that TNCs pay higher overall fees than Taxis and Limos, and that Taxis and Limos only pay for a pickup, while TNCs must pay per pickup and drop-off.

In your article, you also include hyperlinks to the Conditions of Permit agreements for permit holders, which are in fact confidential business documents intended solely for their recipients and should not be posted publicly. We therefore ask that you remove them from the article.