Taxi services

Kingston City Council will seek options to regulate taxi services

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KINGSTON — City Council should consider taking steps to place the licensing and regulation of local taxi services under municipal control.

Councilors are due to consider a motion Tuesday evening to ask staff to report back later this year with options.

The Taxi Commission is an independent committee that oversees local taxis and, more recently, ride-sharing services in Kingston and Loyalist Township. It is one of the few taxi boards in Ontario that is not a municipally controlled organization.

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Although the commission includes a councilman, the Loyalist-Cataraqui District Coun. Simon Chapelle said council should ask staff to find options “to integrate the licensing, regulation and governance of taxi owners and drivers into municipal services and under the oversight of council.”

The motion comes a week after the commission reduced a planned rate increase it approved in March.

In response to public outcry and opposition from taxi companies, the committee reduced the fare increase from 40% to 20%.

In an open letter last month, Mark Greenwood, owner of Amey’s Greenwood Taxi Ltd., wrote that the commission was “dysfunctional”.

Council is due to consider the motion at its Tuesday evening meeting.