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Submission to Toronto’s Vehicle for Hire By-law Review by Neil Robert Shorey

“Please do not come back with a report that says that unchecked Ridesharing companies don’t adversely affect the environment in Toronto.” Photo: toronto.ca

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Submission to: City of Toronto Licensing and Standards Divisopn

Vehicle for Hire By-law Review October 8, 2021

From: Neil Robert Shorey

Congestion and Emissions: It seems to me that Toronto City Council is split on what type of city we want to be.

Mayor Tory leads one band of Councillors who are supportive of the Ridesharing companies which do little more than clog the streets and increase pollution and negatively contribute to the climate change in our world.

There seems to be a second tier of Councillors who wish Toronto to become more bike and public transit friendly. In any event, please do not come back with a report that says that unchecked Ridesharing companies don’t adversely affect the environment in Toronto. Do not insult the intelligence of the people of this city, as we know there is an adverse effect on Toronto and an increase in pollution and a decrease in air quality.

If you believe Climate Change is the single biggest issue as a people moving forward, then support those Councillors looking to green up our City and reject the Mayor’s attempts to take the city backwards on climate change by constantly putting on the goalie pads for Ridesharing companies.

Accessibility: Tracey Cook’s  TTL PLATE plan has been a total disaster. Not even TTL drivers want to participate in the program any longer. Forget the Accessibility Fund Program, as it is  just lipstick on a pig. This is an example of the worst public policy I can ever remember. It’s a bad idea. Kill it, full stop. Forget trying to get others to pay for her mistakes.

Driver Training: After eliminating 50 years of consumer protections in the original Vehicle for Hire By-law, we now see an endless wave of consumer complaints about dirty or mechanically unfit vehicles; the general public is unaware of who really is behind the wheel of their vehicle for hire; and the public wonders why some rides cost more than others for the exact same ride?

I could go on and on. There used to be mandatory twice per year DOT inspections. There used to be sealed meters. There used to be a clear system of identification for who was driving. There used to be a 3-week taxi training course for drivers run by the City of Toronto. These are all gone.

And after all this sadness, Mayor Tory still saw fit to get involved at the last Council meeting to see that the Vehicle for Hire training was yet again kicked down road because it doesn’t fit the ridesharing cost model. Why does Mayor Tory continue to come to poor Uber’s aid every time the issue of holding them to reasonable account comes up at City Council?

I already know the answer. APPS and APP BASED companies are good for the used cellphone salesman Mayor.

Safety measures: I remember quite vividly having my microphone cut off at the Police Services Board meeting because folks didn’t like what I was saying.

However, it NEEDS repeating. I said that instead of having $60 million in new TTC ridership money every year (to be used to fund and maintain Toronto’s TTC system annually) that allowing Ridesharing resulted in zero new TTC riders fares and a net overall loss of all the 60 million).

Less than a month ago, the Toronto media reported a $93 million City Budget shortfall. So, the net effect of allowing Ridesharing into Toronto is even worse than attempted to say when I was publicly silenced at the meeting.

In summary, as I recently noted in regards to Vehicle For Hire By-Law: the more things change the more they stay the same. Ridesharing negatively effects so many portions of our society. Gig economy jobs don’t even pay minimum wage and the companies are never held to account for not paying people properly and treating their employees even worse.

But hey, never say “The Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes.” You will be targeted and vilified. WE NEVER SHOULD HAVE MOVED THOSE STRIKING TAXIS OFF QUEEN STREET THAT DAY. Their legitimate protest changed nothing.

Neil Robert Shorey