Monday, July 15, 2024
Earla Phillips and other members of Rideshare Drivers of Ontario held a press conference at Toronto City Hall on December 14th to express their support for Toronto Council as it works to identify an improved system of licensing rideshare vehicles. There are too many people driving for money at present, Phillips says, which makes it difficult for anyone to earn a living wage. Photo: RDAO
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Rideshare cap lifted until February as Chow’s motion passes

Mayor Olivia Chow’s compromise motion to lift the cap on rideshare vehicles until February passed at Toronto City Council late December 14th.

Chow’s motion call for Licensing and Standards Director Carleton Grant to to “resume issuing vehicle-for-hire and private transportation company driver licences under the previous system and direct the City Manager to report to a meeting of the Executive Committee, that reports to the March 20, 2024 meeting of City Council, so the public may participate and Council may consider his advice and any public or stakeholder input, on options to limit the number of vehicle-for-hire and private transportation company driver licences…”

Beaches-East York Councillor Brad Bradford attempted to gain support for a process which would have seen decision making put off until the fourth quarter of 2024, when Licensing staff have committed to delivering their more complete report on ground transportation. However, Bradford’s motion received only three votes.

Earlier on December 14th, Rideshare Drivers Association of Ontario held a press conference to describe how difficult it is to earn a living with approximately 55,000 vehicles for hire on the roads. Councillors Bravo, Perks, Kandavel and Myers attended the conference; during the debate, Councillor Bravo pointed to the drivers’ comments, saying it was an embarrassment that Toronto would allow full-time drivers to earn $8 per hour, or half of the minimum wage.

“In addition to zero emissions and gridlock, we have to consider the human conditions including poverty,” Bravo said, urging Councillors to reconsider the number of rideshares the previous council permitted when it abandoned caps and went to open entry for rideshare vehicles.

Below is the full text of Chow’s motion as posted to the city website on the evening of December 14th. The text may be subject to change before the final, official minutes are posted:

“1 – Motion to Amend Item moved by Mayor Olivia Chow (Carried)

That: 1. City Council rescind part 20 adopted as part of Item EC6.6 at its meeting of October 11 and 12, 2023, which adopted a policy to maintain the net total of vehicle-for-hire and private transportation company driver’s licences at a number no greater than the number as of October 12, 2023, with the exception of owned but not leased zero-emission vehicles, and direct the Executive director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, to resume issuing vehicle-for-hire and private transportation company driver licences under the previous system and direct the City Manager to report to a meeting of the Executive Committee, that reports to the March 20, 2024 meeting of City Council, so the public may participate and Council may consider his advice and any public or stakeholder input, on options to limit the number of vehicle-for-hire and private transportation company driver licences, including advice on whether it is appropriate to exempt zero emission vehicles and taking into consideration congestion, climate targets, public transit, and transportation planning, and measures the City may take if Council imposes a cap at a number less than the number of existing licences at the time Council decides.”

Vote (Amend Item)Dec-14-2023 4:48 PM

Result: CarriedMajority Required
Total members that votedYes: 23Members that voted Yes arePaul Ainslie, Brad Bradford, Alejandra Bravo, Jon Burnside, Lily Cheng, Olivia Chow, Mike Colle, Vincent Crisanti, Paula Fletcher, Stephen Holyday, Parthi Kandavel, Ausma Malik, Josh Matlow, Jennifer McKelvie, Chris Moise, Amber Morley, Jamaal Myers, Frances Nunziata (Chair), James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Jaye Robinson, Dianne Saxe, Michael Thompson
Total members that votedNo: 0Members that voted No are
Total members that wereAbsent: 3Members that were absent areShelley Carroll, Nick Mantas, Anthony Perruzza