Hamilton reinstating reduced ‘inactive’ taxi fee to help the industry

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Published December 6, 2023 at 3:18 pm

Hamilton Taxi

The City of Hamilton’s Planning Committee has agreed to reinstate the ‘inactive’ taxi fee of $120 to assist the industry still recovering from the pandemic.

In 2021 with COVID raging in the city the taxi industry was declared an essential service and with 120 of 470 total taxi plates in Hamilton inactive the owners of those cabs ‘parked’ were at risk of forfeiting their plate or having to reapply for a license.

The City then introduced a $115 inactive fee – as compared to the annual licensing fee of $687 – to help taxi owners remain solvent. The fee was extended in December of that year for an additional year (with the fee now $120), with about 50 inactive cabs at that time.

The number of ‘parked’ cabs is back up to 120 so City staff – in response to pleas from the industry – recommended the inactive fee be reinstated.

Several delegations from the cab industry in Hamilton, which is represented by Blue Line, Hamilton Taxi and Wavetrans (which provides para transit and wheelchair transportation) were at Tuesday’s Planning Committee meeting to offer their input.

The fee reduction will cost Hamilton taxpayers about $28,350 in revenue, with the City hoping to recover that cash through the Province’s Safe Start Restart Fund.

New cab drivers in Hamilton must undergo some of the most rigorous service and skills training in the province, with the $800 program covering everything from customer service and local geography to CPR training and cultural sensibility.

Committee also agreed to have staff to report back on the feasibility of launching a full review of the taxi industry in Hamilton.

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