Monday, July 15, 2024
CTA president Marc Andre Way speaks with Policy Director Joanna Hazelden after the June 20th VFH consultation at the East York Civic Centre. Photo: Taxi News
NewsRide Hailing newsTaxi industry news

Too much supply for the demand in Toronto, Way tells consultation

“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.” Video: Taxi News

It’s all about supply and demand.

“The basic problem is, you have way too many vehicles on the road for any driver to earn a living,” said Marc Andre Way, president of the Canadian Taxi Association. He was addressing Licensing and Standards staff and facilitators from Gladki Planning at the stakeholder consultation for the Taxi industry.

Until Toronto fixes supply and demand in the Vehicle for Hire (VFH) industry, conversations about subsidies for Accessible Taxis or per-trip fees for drivers are pointless, he says.

Way, who runs a large Taxi fleet in Ottawa including its main fleet of Accessible vehicles, told staff that while their ideas are sound, a new system will not work if the supply question is not addressed first and foremost.

“I think your idea of central dispatch is a good one; compensating drivers ‘X’ amount of per trip is good; subsidizing the van is certainly necessary, but you have to look further than that in order for that to work. Otherwise, you’ll be back here in a year trying to establish ‘What went wrong?’

“Right now, the basic problem you have is way too many vehicles on the road for the number of people that need to be transported.”

Drivers who could previously earn enough money to keep an Accessible Taxi on the road now “cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel, because they end up doing two to three fares a day, versus the eight to 10 that they could do before,” Way told staff, consultants, and an audience of about 60 people at the East York Civic Centre.

In 2013, Toronto retained Taxi Research Partners to conduct a major assessment of Toronto’s Taxi service. It found Toronto had an appropriate number of licensed Taxis at approximately 5,500.  After the arrival of rideshare in 2014, the number of Vehicles for Hire exploded. There are currently about 65,000 rideshares and about 2,800 working taxis.

According to statistics released on January 6, 2024, virtually 100 per cent of Toronto’s Accessible fleet will age out of the system and require replacement in early 2025. Industry members including Accessible drivers and Taxi brokerages tell Taxi News that operators who invested in the customized vans a decade ago are not planning to replace them. They cannot generate the revenues required to pay expenses and earn a living.