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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Uber, Taxi Industry: Trying To Level The Playing Field

Orillia | by Ken Hashizume  
A public meeting in Orillia revealed a few bumps in the road as ride-sharing services step on the turf of taxis.

Drivers who shuttle people around Orillia had a say about the City's proposed transportation services by-law.

A number of stakeholders (25) came to a public meeting last night (TUE) at Orillia City Hall.

The consensus from those at the meeting was there needs to be some deregulating of the taxi industry in order for them to compete with companies like Uber.

Uber driver Derick Lehmann says Uber drivers already follow 95 percent of what's in that draft by-law.

He says they have to go through things like criminal background checks and vehicle safety inspections.

Sheona Kloostra of Happy Homes Support Services says part of her staff usually drives her clients around or picks up medications or equipment.

She says it is absurd that her staff would need to get taxi licences in order to perform those duties when it is a private company whose clients pay for that service.

Councillor Ted Emond served as the chair of the meeting and says there is still a long way to go before they can come up with a solution that everyone will agree with.

He says the taxi industry would still like to see some regulations while services like Uber don't want that.

Emonds says staff will take the information and use it to make changes to the draft by-law and then present it Council for review.

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