The City of Toronto is proposing 44 new taxi reforms for this year that can make your cab ride more expensive.
The reforms will require all taxi drivers to purchase wheelchair accessible vehicles, the cost would be passed through the passengers with increased cab fares. There would be fewer fleet operators that would then cause fewer taxis on the road and would ultimately cause increased wait times. Lastly, if taxi drivers need to purchase wheelchair accessible cabs they will replace the more fuel efficient vehicles, thus creating more air pollution.
In a survey held on the Angus Reid forum for the Toronto Taxi Alliance, it found that 83 per cent of Torontonians are unaware that the Toronto Taxi Review is taking place this year.
Media consult, Joanna Hatt said “Increased wait times, increased fare, increased pollution are all going to happen as a result of all these reforms. It’s not that one specific reform will lead to one thing its more that if these reforms are passed these are the four major implications that will have for users in Toronto.”
The TTA is opposing these new reforms on the basis that it will cause major issues when it comes to increased wait times, rates, air pollution, and risks to passenger safety.
The TTA supports the idea of having in an increase in wheelchair accessible vehicles but does not believe that all taxis should be converted due to the fact that only one per cent of calls require wheelchair assistance.
“The whole purpose of the [TTA] campaign is that we feel that if Torontonians are aware of this taking place… the implications will result and the reforms will pass, we feel Torontonians will feel strongly enough about the issue will text their support,” said Hatt.
With these proposal reforms, drivers will have the option to choose a third Toronto Taxi License, which means drivers will not be able to lease their vehicles or have family members drive for them if the driver needs to take on a sick day.
“The only real way taxi drivers will be able to increase what they earn will be to drive longer hours, resulting in unsafe conditions for both taxi drivers and taxi users.” said the TTA in their press release.
The TTA survey found that 70 per cent of Torontonians would vote against wheelchair accessible taxicabs if it meant replacing the fuel-efficient taxis already on the road.
Recent Humber College student, Josie Manzo, 20, said, “I drive so it wouldn’t really affect me but there are solutions to this problem, there are eco-friendly vehicles available and if cost is an issue people can always use the TTC.”
Carleton University student, Joyce Katchunga, 20, said, “I’ve used the cab and sometimes you have to wait for a long time. Everyone has to right to be treated equally. Wheelchair accessible taxis would be good and bad. It’s unfortunate that they have to go through this but we need to worry about the environment and the expenses. I think they just need more taxis that will provide services for people with special needs.”
More news of what will happen with these reforms will be coming in November.