Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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VFH consult to occur in “next two months”

Gladki Planning hired to assist

GPA was retained by the City of Toronto as independent facilitator to convene public and stakeholder consultations for the redevelopment of Ontario Place. Photo: GPA

Toronto has hired Gladki Planning Associates Inc. to assist in the planning and facilitation of consultations for the November, 2024 Vehicle for Hire-report to Council.

City staff, together with Gladki Planning, are currently developing the consultation schedule. The specific dates have not yet been established, but they are expected to occur in the next two months.

More information about opportunities for consultation, including the date, time and location, will be published on Toronto’s  Vehicle-for-Hire Bylaw Updates – City of Toronto website, in addition to being sent to interested parties who signed up for the Vehicle-for-Hire Bylaw E-Updates.

Taxi News sent a list of questions to Toronto’s Media office on the specific objectives of the consultation. Below are Licensing and Standards staff responses:

What are the guiding principles for the November 2024 report. Will it be following the 2013 principles or be different?

Guiding principles agreed upon by Toronto staff and Taxi industry representatives might be considered more aspirational and less complicated than the 2024 principles. Image: Taxi News

“The City’s Vehicle-for-Hire Bylaw enables the vehicle-for-hire industry to provide quality service in a competitive market, while maintaining the City’s municipal regulatory purpose of enhancing consumer protection and public safety.  The review of the bylaw is centred around responding to several directives made by City Council since 2021, including:

EX12.1: Vehicle-for-Hire and Private Transportation Industries Update Request, which requested the “City Manager include analysis and consideration of driver wages in the forthcoming report on options regarding vehicle-for-hire licensing, and that the City Manager report to the Executive Committee no later than fourth quarter of 2024.”  

2023.CC13.7 which requested staff review “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” 

2023.EC6.6 which requested staff to “report back on the number of licences for vehicle-for-hire and private transportation companies, including an assessment of: 

a. the numbers and limits imposed in other municipalities and a jurisdictional scan on regulations; 

b. limits based on total licence numbers versus the total number on the road at any given time; 

c. impacts of vehicle-for-hire and private transportation companies on traffic congestion and uptake of public transportation; and 

d. potential equity impacts of limiting the number of licences on areas without higher order transit.” 

2022.GL30.10 which requested staff to review the taxicab tariff and charges, considering inflation, price of fuel and consultation with the industry

2021.GL27.18 which requested staff “develop a framework for the vehicle-for-hire sector, supported by an independent report, to maximize the efficiency of the sector by matching active vehicles in service with demand, and balancing public policy priorities, including customer service, economic impacts on drivers, impacts on public transit, efforts to reduce traffic volumes, City policies such as TransformTO, ActiveTO, VisionZero, and our greenhouse gas reduction targets, and this framework therefore shall include, but not be limited to: 

a. public availability and competitive impacts across transportation sectors; 

b. equity and accessibility; 

c. measurement and optimization of service for disabled passengers; 

d. environmental impacts, including environmental policies and imperatives, such as the congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, pollution and barrier impacts of transport provision; 

e. safety impacts, including but not limited to public safety, individual pedestrian, driver and road user incident costs, and any mitigation thereto; and 

f. any direct and associated socio-economic impacts, including the societal cost and benefits of such provision, as may include potential for and avoidance of monopolistic or anti-trust abuses as may result from excess market access, and/or uncontrolled pricing. 
g. include in this framework, recommendations on the feasibility of applying a ratio of 1 vehicle to 100 population currently used in New York City with the fleet size being reached through attrition rather than driver deactivations.” 

This item also requested staff to conduct a comprehensive review of Vehicle-for-Hire regulations, including a review of

  • Driver training
  • Open Data
  • Licensing fees, including fees for plates “on the shelf”
  • Vehicle age limits

The feedback received from these consultations will be a key input to the recommendations that staff make to City Council in response to the directives above.”