TORONTO, Sept. 16, 2015 /CNW/ - In an unprecedented show of solidarity and support, Toronto taxi organizations have formed a coalition made up of Toronto drivers, brokerages, fleet operators, and owners to present to the Licensing and Standards Committee at its September 16th Special Meeting.
"We reject the review and the introduction of a new 'Transportation Network Company' (TNC) license created specifically to accommodate Uber and its unlicensed UberX drivers," says Sam Moini, spokesperson for the Toronto Taxi Alliance.
"Toronto cannot have UberX and a taxi industry too. UberX means the end of the taxi industry in Toronto."
Moini fears City Council does not understand the damage that will be done with creation of a separate license, and says Councillors must be aware that if they vote to support Transportation Network Companies, they are effectively ending taxicab service for disabled persons, and seniors who do not use Smartphones in their constituencies.
"TNCs only offer to serve those who have access to credit cards, so many in our community would be denied service because they don't have the financial means to possess a credit card," Moini points out.
Sajid Mughal, president of iTaxi Workers, says Uber is creating no new jobs, and in fact is taking jobs from committed taxi drivers.
"Uber claims it is creating jobs with its app. In fact, Uber is KILLING full-time jobs for taxi drivers. Taxi drivers cannot compete with an unfair, unregulated service which allow part-time drivers to use their personal cars to pick up fares," Mughal notes. "UberX is replacing full-time professional drivers with part-time dabblers."
"The taxi and limo industries in Toronto are subject to hundreds of separate requirements under By-law 545, all of which we follow diligently. UberX is subject to nothing," says Peter Zahakos of the Taxicab Brokerages' Association.
"All taxis and limos in Toronto MUST be insured with $2M in commercial insurance, according to Ontario's Highway Traffic Act. UberX came to Toronto one year ago and launched its business ignoring EVERY Toronto by-law and Ontario's Highway Traffic Act. This outrageous act of civil disobedience has been ignored by Toronto politicians and Toronto police."
Toronto's licensed taxi industry calls upon Toronto politicians to demonstrate political will in enforcing the same laws for Uber that it applies to legal, regulated ground transportation services.
The proposed TNC is included in the Licensing and Standards Committee Report entitled LS6.1 2015 Ground Transportation Review: Taxi, Limos and Uber included in the September 16, Committee Agenda.
SOURCE Toronto Taxi Alliance