This message is to inform you of the recent events concerning the City of Toronto bylaw review of the vehicle for hire industry. On July 18th, council voted on amendments to the bylaw related to taxi, PTC, and limousines which included recommendations to remove to stretch limousine ratio that we had been lobbying for since 2015.
At that time there were consultations held with all three industry groups relating to the 2016 bylaw that was being crafted to accommodate a new class of provider; PTC (Private Transportation Company). It was also to address changes needed to the other categories in order to level the playing field considering the city was now going to legalize services like Uber and Lyft. There was recognition at the staff level and in its subsequent report to council that the stretch ratio was no longer a necessary instrument to apply to the limousine industry, and the report recommended its removal.
Unfortunately at council, an amendment was made to simply import the part of the bylaw related to the limousine industry from the old bylaw to the new one, thereby ignoring the recommendations and keeping everything the same.
Then in March of this year, we once again attended another industry consultation with a lead up to a review of the bylaw that was to see how things have been working since 2016. Again the industry was unanimous in stating that the ratio had to go as there is no justification for keeping it. Staff agreed, and several recommendations were made in its report including the removal of the ratio.
The report was forwarded to the General Government and Licensing Committee which was held on June 24th. We attended and made a deputation to the committee urging them to pass the recommendations. Only one councillor asked a question, and that was clarification about the staging issue. There was no discussion the entire day about anything to do with limousines other than our deputation. Furthermore, at no point in the process was there any opposition to its removal.
When the matter was brought before council on July 18th, Councillor Paul Ainslie, who also chairs the Licensing Committee, introduced a last minute five page amendment – mostly related to the ongoing debate about the issue with PTCs – but in it contained the deletion all of the recommendations of the report related to limousines. Meaning the ratio remains.
At no time during the council meeting was there any discussion or debate on any item related to limousines which lead us to ask the Councillor why he introduced that amendment. He declined our meeting request and our did not respond to our request for an explanation.
At this point, it is our feeling that the process is anything but open and transparent. There is obviously some back room politics at play and we can no longer sit back and accept what is going on. The executive officers of the board met yesterday and we will be seeking legal counsel on this matter at which time we will discuss a multi-point plan to challenge it.
We will provide further communication on this issue as it develops but wanted to ensure that you were all aware of what has transpired and that we will be dealing with it utilizing all means necessary.
The Board of Directors of the OLOA
*NEW LEGISLATION* has passed today in Parliament that any body caught using a “mobile phone” whilst driving or whilst the engine is running will lose their Driver’s Licenses on the spot for *3 months.* No excuse will be tolerated or accepted by a Police Officer. As soon as you get into your vehicle turn on the Bluetooth of the car or phone. If you don’t have Bluetooth technology you have to safely pull over switch off your car engine then you may answer your mobile phone. Keep in mind that even though you have pulled over & your engine is running you will still cop the full wrath of by the law. So turn off your car engine if you don’t have Bluetooth, prior to answering your mobile phone.
High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lanes
- HOV signs marking the far left lane.
- Markers painted on the road, including diamond markers and a striped buffer zone that separates the HOV lane from other lanes.
Using HOV lanes
- vans or light trucks
- commercial trucks less than 6.5 meters long with a gross weight of 4,500 kg or less.
- buses of all types
- licensed taxis and airport limousines until June 30, 2020
- emergency vehicles
- vehicles with Ontario green licence plates
OLOA Jan 2017 Survey Results
We thank the 70 members that responded to the survey. Results are below.
Does the stretch ratio in the GTA affect you?
Do you support the OLOA working on this initiative?
No opinion 23.40%
Do you find the stretch ratio hard to maintain?
What percentage of work do you do in the GTA?
0 – 15% 14.58%
15 – 30% 16.67%
30 – 50% 8.33%
50 – 75% 16.67%
75% + 35.42%
Would you attend an early spring meeting? The meeting agenda would be for industry specific issues and be just for members – no sponsors.
Comments provided have been logged and divided as some are opinions and some are constructive and can be looked into.