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Friday, February 14, 2020

Orillia Mayor Says Ball Is Now In Court Of Private Ride-Sharing Companies

Orillia | by Matt Sitler  

On February 10th, Council amended the vehicle-for-hire by-law to remove barriers for ride-sharing services in Orillia.

More is being released about Orillia Council's recent decision to open the door further for ride-sharing services in the city.

On February 10th, Council amended the vehicle-for-hire by-law to remove barriers for services like Uber and Lyft.

“I would like to commend Council on their thorough and respectful debate on the issue of ride-sharing licensing in the City of Orillia,” says Mayor Steve Clarke. “Council has always been unanimous in our desire to welcome ride-sharing services to the Sunshine City. Despite our difference of opinion on the licensing regime, Council came to a decision that I believe is in the best interest of our community. The ball is now in the court of private ride-sharing companies to apply for a licence to operate in Orillia. We look forward to them coming.”

Council amended Chapter 725 of the City of Orillia Municipal Code – Vehicle-for-Hire Licensing to implement the following changes:

• Remove the requirement for a vulnerable sector screening certificate for transportation network company drivers and taxicab drivers before such a driver is able to operate in the City for the first time and alternatively, require a criminal record check provided such driver does not provide transportation services to unaccompanied persons under 18 years of age;

• Add an offence prohibiting a transportation network company driver or taxicab driver from providing transportation services to unaccompanied persons under 18 years of age without first having obtained and provided a vulnerable sector screening certificate;

• Reduce the existing business licence fees for transportation network companies and taxicab companies by 20 per cent;

• Remove the requirement preventing a transportation network company driver or taxicab driver from providing transportation services if convicted of specific Highway Traffic Act offences as detailed in Chapter 725;

• Remove the requirement for a Safety Standards Certificate to be submitted to a transportation network company biannually for vehicles that exceed 40,000 kilometres in the prior year.

In July 2018, following extensive research and public consultation, Council adopted a by-law to license and regulate ride-sharing services and the taxi industry. Since 2018, no ride-sharing service has applied for a licence to operate in the City of Orillia.

Following significant feedback from the community regarding the lack of reliable late-night transportation, staff presented a report on Feb. 3, 2020 outlining a number of options for Council’s consideration that would encourage ride-sharing services to operate in Orillia. 

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