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Key recommendations from vehicle for hire staff report

The Licensing staff report on the vehicle for hire industry was posted publicly on November 23, and is expected to be considered at the General Government and Licensing Committee on November 30th. It would then be taken to Toronto Council on December 15th.

Key recommendations in the report posted include:

  • Driver training focused on accessibility, the act of pick-up and drop-off, anti-racism and increased sensitivity;
  • Monitoring impacts of ride-sharing on congestion, as currently “there is insufficient evidence to suggest that additional measures are required to mitigate congestion, such as a cap on the number of Private Transportation Companies vehicles;”
  • Establishment of a vehicle-for-hire working group to discuss opportunities to support the electrification of the vehicle-for-hire industry;
  • A continued reduction in Vehicle-for-Hire licensing renewal fees by 50 per cent; and
  • Maintaining the 75 per cent reduction on the Vehicle-for-Hire Accessibility Fund Program regulatory charges.

The document posted in advance of the November 30 meeting does not appear to contain any reference to the input received through the online public consultation, which closed on October 8th.

The report includes this item in the Summary, although it is not a recommendation:

“On November 10, 2021, Council paused the issuance of new Vehicle-for-Hire and Private Transportation Companies driver licences until such time as the driver training accreditation program is established, and applicants have demonstrated completion of a driver training course.

“While staff have implemented Council direction, there are concerns that pausing the issuance of licences will have significant impacts on the industry, drivers, individual applicants and consumers, at a time when the focus is necessarily on the City’s recovery efforts.

“A pause on licensing may have unintended effects on consumers by potentially reducing the number of drivers available and increasing wait times. For example, due to the significant decline in the number of Private Transportation Companies drivers, wait times have more than doubled since February 2020.

“It is anticipated that the licensing of new applicants will resume once the City has accredited training providers and applicants are able to complete an accredited driver training course, as well as meet all other licensing requirements, as part of their applications.

“Municipal Licensing and Standards will continue to accept renewal applications for existing licensees during this time period. After training programs are in place and available, Municipal Licensing and Standards will establish a reasonable date by which applicants for renewal must also demonstrate they have completed a course.”