Monday, July 15, 2024
One of Toronto's longest-serving Taxi industry operators, Peter Mandronis, speaks with Fiona Chapman of L&S at the June 20 meeting. Photo: Taxi News
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Now, three Taxi meetings on Monday

Taxi feedback missing from June 24 staff presentation

A third meeting focused on Accessible Taxis has been added to the calendar for Monday, June 24th.

In addition to the Taxi industry virtual meeting scheduled for 12:30pm, and the meeting for the General Public being held at 6:30pm that night, Toronto’s Accessible Committee will focus on “Improving Accessible Vehicle-for-Hire Services” at its 9:30am meeting.

“Josh Cho, Policy Development Officer, and Tobiah Abramson, Policy and Planning Advisor, Policy and Planning Services Unit, Municipal Licensing and Standards Division will provide a presentation on the ongoing vehicle-for-hire review and seek feedback on specific proposals to improve the quality and availability of accessible vehicle-for-hire services,” the meeting agenda states.

The presentation appended to the Accessible Committee meeting agenda makes no mention of the Taxi industry feedback provided at the June 20th consultation. At that meeting, speakers were unanimous and emphatic in noting that unless Toronto addresses the fact of its extreme over-supply of all Vehicles for Hire first, none of the other proposed changes will work to rescue the City’s devastated “Accessible on Demand” program.

On June 20, CTA president Marc Andre Way told Toronto staff that until the over-supply of Vehicles for Hire is addressed, nothing else can work to make Accessible Taxis viable: “You’ll be back here in a year, wondering what went wrong.” Video: Taxi News

“In order for for central dispatch to work, and in order for those offering accessible service to earn an honest living, you have to first look at capacity and how much demand you have. You have too much capacity,” CTA president Marc Andre Way told Toronto’s Vehicle for Hire consultation on June 20th.

Way explained that when Ottawa recently released almost 200 Accessible plates, more than 100 of them remained on the shelf because operators “Can not see light at the end of the tunnel. They cannot pay their expenses on three or four runs per day when they used to get ten or twelve. You have to fix capacity first, or you will be back here in a year trying to establish what went wrong.”

Prior to 2016, Accessible drivers used to rely on non-Accessible trips to generate revenues to help them cover the costs of their converted Taxis. Having lost those revenues to rideshare, operators now find it virtually impossible to keep an Accessible Taxi on the road; few, if any, report that they are planning to replacing their current vehicles. By 2025, Toronto will have no Accessible Taxis serving on-demand calls.

L&S Staff presentation

Peter Athanasopoulos of Spinal Cord Injury Ontario will provide his presentation, “Accessible Taxi and Vehicle for Hire Services.” No members of the Taxi industry or any providers of Accessible service have been invited to the meeting or were informed of the meeting.

Spinal Cord Injuries Ontario presentation
Beck Taxi’s Operations Manager Kristine Hubbard explains that Toronto capped the number of Taxis and set meter rates to ensure drivers could make a living wage.
Video: Taxi News