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Instead of extending Accessible Taxis for 3 years, Council extends all VFH by one year

Possibly thousands of Vehicles for Hire were just given a one year extension on their allowable life by Toronto Council. Photo: Nabeel Syed, Unsplash

A motion to allow Accessible Taxis to stay on the road three additional years has morphed into a Council decision to allow all Vehicles for Hire to stay on the road for one year longer.  

In a debate which was pushed to the third day of a Toronto Council meeting addressing scores of Agenda items, Councillor Mike Layton proposed an amendment to allow all Vehicles for Hire one extra year. The original motion which was passed by the General Government and Licensing Committee on July 4th requested that Accessible Taxis receive a three-year extension to their age limit because supply chain issues are making them impossible to replace.  

While the original request would have impacted about 370 of the 600 Accessible Taxis on the road, the amended motion may include thousands more additional vehicles which are not Accessible and which had not requested a one year extension. No information on carbon emissions resulting from extending additional older vehicles was asked for or provided to Councillors before they voted unanimously in support of extending the allowable age of all Vehicles for Hire by one year to ten model years until December 31, 2023.

In the only brief comment made on the issue, Layton said, “This is to extend the period for all vehicles for hire, on account of the fact that no one can buy a low emissions vehicle right now, but also to ensure that the working group is coming back with new higher efficiency vehicle recommendations to replace the fleet. This is not ideal, but it’s the situation we are in with the global supply chain.”  

Council voted unanimously in support of Layton’s amendment.

The Amendment reads as follows:

1 – Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Mike Layton (Carried)

That:

City Council amend Chapter 546,  Licensing of Vehicles-for-Hire, to extend the maximum age of vehicle provision for existing vehicles used as Private Transportation Company vehicles, taxicabs and sedan limousines to permit these vehicles to be used for one additional year, so Private Transportation Company vehicles, taxicabs and sedan limousines may be used for a total of 10 model years until December 31, 2023, in view of existing supply chain issues.

City Council request the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, to include in the planned report back about the vehicle-for-hire industry a review of vehicle age provisions for taxicabs, limousines and Private Transportation Company vehicles.

City Council request the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to ensure that the Vehicle for Hire Electric Vehicle Working Group convenes as soon as possible, such that its work can inform the replacement of the greatest possible numbers of vehicles for hire, and that the working group include as part of its deliberation a review of tools and regulations to reduce emissions in the vehicle-for-hire sector.