Oakville amends taxicab licensing bylaw to allow for more plates to improve service to the public

Tuesday, July 05, 2011 – for immediate release

Oakville amends taxicab licensing bylaw to allow for more plates to improve service to the public

Plate increases based on current and future population densities

Last night in a 10 to 3 vote, Town Council approved a number of changes to the taxicab licensing bylaw, linking the number of new taxicab plates to population growth in an effort to ensure that residents of Oakville are adequately served by the taxicab industry.

“Feedback from delegations was widespread and provided great insight into the trade. We heard from those who both supported and opposed increasing the number of taxicabs on Oakville’s roads and appreciated their candor,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “Evidence of outside companies scooping fares persuaded me that there is more business for Oakville companies to serve if they had the fleet to do so.”

In a 7 to 6 vote, Council also directed staff to investigate and develop a plan for a non-transferable plate issuance program made specifically for Oakville’s unique taxicab industry. Non-transferable plates allow individuals an opportunity to a make a living driving a taxicab, but plates must be returned to the municipality when the individual ceases to operate the taxicab. Plates cannot be sold, leased or exchanged.

In order to adopt a non-transferable plate program in Oakville, the existing taxicab waiting list must be exhausted. The ability to add names to the waiting list ended in October 2007 and the existing list is expected to be cleared by 2015.

“Council heard about other municipalities with successful non-transferable plate programs including Burlington and Halifax,” Mayor Burton said. “Frustration with Toronto’s current system was voiced by many of our delegations. We are very aware of those criticisms.”

Changes to the Taxicab Licensing Bylaw 2005-026 include:

Adjusting the ratio of licensed taxicabs-to-population on a gradual basis until the ratio of 1:1500 is achieved by 2015. The current ratio is 1:2000.
Significant reduction in fees for special wheelchair accessible plates and yearly renewal fees.
Gradual clearance of the taxicab waiting list over a five-year period to enable the potential introduction of a non-transferable plate issuance program.
 Minor amendments to fees for re-inspection of taxicabs, exemptions for waiting list applicants, banning reduced rate advertising incentives by taxicab brokerages, and clarification on the model year of vehicles used as taxicabs.

“It was time to update our taxicab licensing bylaw. Research shows that we are well below the municipal average for taxicab plates,” Ward 1 Councillor Alan Johnston said. “With growing population densities, especially in the north, supply and demand tells us we need more taxicabs. This is good news for Oakville.”

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For more information contact:

Phil Bouillon
Assistant Clerk
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3093
pbouillon@oakville.ca

Janine Ivings
Senior Communications Advisor
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3005
jivings@oakville.ca


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Oakville amends taxicab licensing bylaw to allow for more plates to improve service to the public