Toronto Taxi Reforms a Step in the Right Direction, Drivers Say

TORONTO, Oct. 23, 2013 /CNW/ - The iTaxiworkers Association - the only dues-based, membership-driven group representing Toronto taxi workers - says the city's proposed reforms to the industry are a step in the right direction.

"We are interested in what is best for taxi drivers who drive taxicabs for their daily living," said iTaxiworkers Association President Sajid Mughal, whose group represents over 1,000 Toronto taxi workers.

"We believe the city's Taxi Review Framework offers positive steps to reform a non-functioning industry in which drivers are the hardest-working and least-remunerated group," Mughal said.

The iTaxiworkers' members include drivers who are owner-operators (Ambassador drivers), W-plate (wheelchair accessible) drivers, lessees and shift drivers (drivers who rent taxicabs on a daily basis).

The iTaxiworkers Association does not share the views of the Toronto Taxi Alliance, which is mounting a campaign against the city's proposed taxi reforms. The Toronto Taxi Alliance largely represents absentee investors, taxi owners, brokerages, fleet operators and agents.

"The iTaxiworkers Association only represents actual working taxi drivers. We have always worked for the goal of improving lives and livelihoods for those of us who add value to the industry every day," Mughal said.

"The iTaxiworkers Association knows that Toronto's taxi industry is, indeed, broken. The industry does not work effectively for taxi workers who are on the road every day trying to make a living and provide quality services," he said.

"The current system benefits parties such as multi-plate owners, garages, brokers and agents - but not the frontline taxi drivers. The city's Taxi Review Framework offers much-needed change to an industry that isn't working for taxi drivers."

The iTaxiworkers also notes that misinformation has been spreading publicly as part of the campaign to oppose the city's taxi reforms. In particular, the city's report does not propose fare increases, contrary to misinformation being spread by opponents of the reforms.

"In fact, the city's report indicates that current fare rates should be maintained and reviewed every two years," Mughal said.

The city's draft report is available at http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2013/ls/bgrd/backgroundfile-59689.pdf

SOURCE: iTAXIWORKERS Association

For further information:

Sajid Mughal, President, iTaxiworkers, 647-836-2930, mskias@hotmail.com
May Lui
, Executive Director, iTaxiworkers Association of Ontario, 647-235-6567, may@itaxiworkers.ca

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