9:30 a.m., Oct. 23)
City releases second set of taxi review discussion
By Fred Sherwin
its efforts to review and possibly amend the regulations
governing the taxi industry, the City of Ottawa has released
the second of three sets of discussion papers aimed at
informing and educating the general public on the issue.
first set of discussion papers were released last week.
One contained case studies comparing the vehicle-for-hire
industry, including app-based services like Uber, in six
other jurisdictions in North America including Toronto,
Waterloo and Vancouver.
second document explains key elements of the existing
regulations and bylaws governing the vehicle-for-hire
industry in Ottawa.
two discussion papers released earlier this week focus
on emerging issues in the taxi and limousine industry,
such as Uber, and accessibility issues.
final two documents to be released next week, will compare
customer experience in the vehicle-for-hire and industry
and taxi economics.
of the public are being invited to download the documents
at www.ottawa.ca and provide feedback on the contents.
a big ask considering the first four discussion papers
contain 104 pages.
feedback the city receives will be used to put together
a set of policy options for further discussions.
taxi industry review is being conducted as the debate
over what to do with app-based, vehicle-for-hire providers
like Uber continues to heat up.
unlicensed, non-regulated service is currently illegal
in Ottawa. Since Uber first arrived on the scene a year
ago, 142 charges have been laid against Uber drivers resulting
in 116 convictions leading to fines of between $615 and
comparison, Uber drivers caught operating in Quebec risk
having their vehicles impounded.
worth noting that Uber estimates it has roughly 1,000
driver-partners in the city.
controversial vehicle-for-hire provider operates in more
than 300 cities around the world and has an estimated
valuation of over $50 billion.
surprsingly, the loudest opposition to Uber is coming
from the citys 2,600 licensed taxi drivers who say
Uber operators are taking food off their tables.
drivers must pay an annual $217 license renewal fee, and
a $584 plate holder renewal fee for a total annual expense
of $801. They must also adhere to a long list of regulations
governing everyone from the condition of their cabs to
their personal appearance. Uber has no system of standards.
current review is being governed by three guiding principles:
public safety; accessibility; and consumer protection.
can provide their comments on the subject either by e-mail
to firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone at 613-580-8294. Comments
can also be left on the citys Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityofottawa.
of the research and the publics input will lead
to the publication of a policy options paper providing
a final opportunity for input before the draft report
is prepared and submitted to citys emergency and
protective services committee by the end of he year.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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