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Burlington holds special meeting to deal with Taxi crisis

Burlington holds special meeting to deal with Taxi crisis

The scramble continues to solve Burlington’s taxi situation. Burlington Council held a special session Tuesday to try to solve the taxi crisis created when Burlington Taxi went out of business last Friday. Council voted to allow exemptions to existing licensing requirements so other taxi services can apply to provide service for Burlington residents.

The amendments are intended to provide a temporary solution to quickly replace lost taxi service. These amendments will help provide flexibility in the application process and meet demands of current business models.

Starting Dec. 2, 2021 applications for new taxi owner licences/plates will be open until all spaces are full. The by-law amendment allows licences to be awarded on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis (similar to other City business licences).  Complete applications will be processed as soon as possible to address the current service gap in Burlington. Applicants can visit burlington.ca/taxilicence for more information on the criteria and documentation required. The City will continue to share updates as available.  In the meantime, Burlington Transit bus schedules can be accessed at 905-639-0550 or at burlingtontransit.ca.  Burlington Transit currently offers the adults 65+ free transit on weekdays, Monday to Friday, between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

The by-law amendments are intended to provide a temporary solution. City staff are aiming to undertake a comprehensive review and consultation and have a new by-law created prior to December 31, 2023. Further review is required not only to determine appropriate taxi licensing requirements, but to investigate the ‘rideshare’ businesses and options for regulating that market.

“Burlington Council is moving quickly to find a solution within the next few days to close the gaps in taxi service in our city. Staff will be bringing forward a permanent solution in the new year. We have heard firsthand from the community the direct impacts the gap in service has had on our residents,” said Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.

Staff were also asked to look into what happened to the review of taxi bylaws that the previous term of council had directed. Council received the results of that review yesterday.

The city had ordered a review of Taxi service in Burlington in 2019 but somehow that report got lost. As a result steps have been taken to improve the way reports are tracked . None of this would have impacted Burlington Taxi’s decision  which was brought about by  high insurance rates and insufficient number of drivers.

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