Taxi Reform to Proceed Thanks to iTaxiworkers' Intervention

TORONTO, June 27, 2014 /CNW/ - Intervention in the courts by the iTaxiworkers Association has helped ensure that much-needed reforms to Toronto's taxi industry will proceed.

The iTaxiworkers, representing hundreds of Toronto taxi drivers, made submissions in Ontario Superior Court this week opposing attempts by the Toronto Taxi Alliance (TTA) to thwart the industry reforms approved by city council.

"Because of the intervention by iTaxiworkers, virtually all of the reforms will proceed as planned, beginning July 1," said Sajid Mughal, iTaxiworkers Association President.

"These reforms are important to members of iTaxiworkers and to other taxi drivers," Mughal said. "We are pleased to play such an important role in advocating for changes in the taxi industry in Toronto. It's a matter of fairness and equity."

The iTaxiworkers Association advocated for years for progressive reforms to improve an industry that regularly exploits frontline workers – the taxi drivers.

City council voted in favour of historic reforms in February, then passed a bylaw earlier this month to phase in the implementation of the changes, beginning July 1.

However, a court challenge was filed by the TTA, a group largely comprised of interests that have long dominated the city's taxi industry – owners, brokerages, taxicab fleet operators and agents.

Following the iTaxiworkers' intervention in Superior Court this week, a judge ruled most of the taxi industry reforms could proceed while TTA's legal challenge to the city bylaw proceeds through the court system in coming months.

This week's court ruling suspends only one of the reforms pending the outcome of the legal challenge.

The ruling temporarily suspends the provision of the new city bylaw that calls for all Standard Licence owners to obtain the new Toronto Taxi Licence (TTL) by June 30, 2024. The TTL requires taxis to be owner-driven and it allows for shift drivers. The TTL must be owned by an individual, not a corporation. An individual can own only one TTL and it does not permit middlemen such as agents.

The new bylaw will allow Ambassador and Accessible licence holders to sell their licences, which then must become TTLs. In order to meet the needs of customers who require on-demand metered taxi service, 290 TTL licenses may be issued to taxi drivers on the waiting list.

SOURCE: iTAXIWORKERS Association

For further information: Sajid Mughal, President, iTaxiworkers Association, 647-836-2930, mskias@hotmail.com

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