Freeze taxi licensing fees, Mayor Tory urges budget chair
'Taxi industry presently finds itself in a particularly unique and challenging position,' Tory says
Toronto Mayor John Tory on Tuesday called for a freeze on taxi licensing fees, saying his goal was to create a more "viable and equitable competitive environment" for taxis in the city.
This year, taxi companies have been in a vicious battle with Uber over city regulations and market share.
"The taxi industry presently finds itself in a particularly unique and challenging position," Tory said in a letter to Gary Crawford, the city's budget chair.
Tory is asking Crawford to make the recommendation to City Council.
One taxi firm, Beck, said on Tuesday that afternoon that it welcomed the move. "Beck thanks Mayor Tory for listening to our request on behalf of taxi drivers for some relief on increased licensing fees," the company said in a statement.
Move hailed as 'first step'
The company said the move is a "first step in acknowledging taxi drivers in Toronto are facing undue financial burdens."
Taxi rides in Toronto became $1 cheaper as of Nov.1 when a move meant to keep cabs competitive with Uber took effect.
Taxi meters as of that date started at $3.25 after Toronto city council approved the lower fare, or "drop fee," in September amid complaints from local cab companies they are being edged out by unregulated ride-hailing services like Uber and UberX.
UberX rates start at $2.50.