Council Approves By-Law to Deregulate Taxicabs in Municipality of Port Hope

In City Hall

The Municipality of Port Hope is pleased to announce that last night, Council approved a by-law to deregulate the local taxicab industry. This decision is in response to significant changes in the Canadian taxi industry and the increasing demand for more transportation options.

In recent years, ride-share platforms like Y Drive, Uber and Lyft have introduced new competition and innovative service delivery methods. These platforms typically offer enhanced features and, in many cases, more affordable transportation opportunities.

Ultimately, market demands will determine which services are provided in the area.

Recognizing the need for greater flexibility and competition, Council has decided to remove outdated regulations that previously restricted the local taxi industry and limited the opportunity for rideshare initiatives. This follows efforts from 2019, when adjustments were made to remove a previous long-standing requirement for a bricks-and-mortar dispatching location within the Municipality, which had limited consumer choice and stifled competition.

“Our decision to deregulate the taxi industry marks a significant step forward for Port Hope,” notes Mayor Olena Hankivsky. “By embracing flexibility and innovation, we are removing any and all municipal barriers to new transportation options in the hopes that our residents and businesses will be better served. This change reflects our commitment to fostering a vibrant, accessible, and dynamic community.”

The deregulation aims to allow greater flexibility for current taxi operators, and to open the market to new businesses and ride-share services, providing residents with the potential for more transportation options. Support for rideshare opportunities has come from various sectors, including local businesses, residents, the Port Hope and District Chamber of Commerce, Port Hope Police Service, and Loyalist College, all highlighting the benefits of increased transportation choices.

In the current market, deregulation is the best option available to the Municipality of Port Hope, and is anticipated to enable more transportation options to:
• Reduce wait times and improve service quality.

• Allow taxi operators to adjust their fleets and driver availability more easily.

• Encourage new businesses and ride-share services to enter the market.

• Maintain public safety and consumer protection through existing provincial legislation.

Licensing the taxi industry is not mandatory under provincial law and is subject to the discretion of individual municipalities. Deregulation efforts have been successful in municipalities of similar size and under comparable circumstances, in places such as Bracebridge, Collingwood, Lasalle, and Gravenhurst.

This change will be monitored over a two-year period to assess its impact on the market. During this time, the Municipality will engage with stakeholders to gather feedback and address any concerns. Should the need for regulation arise, the Municipality retains the right to reintroduce appropriate by-laws.

The Municipality of Port Hope is committed to supporting both existing taxi services and new operators, ensuring residents have access to diverse and reliable transportation options.

For additional information, please read the staff report.

 

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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