AT its meeting on April 22, Brampton City Council unanimously passed a motion moved by Regional Councillor Paul Vicente, and seconded by Regional Councillors Gurpreet Singh Dhillon and Pat Fortini, to provide relief to the taxi industry along with other mobile licensees including driving school instructors, tow trucks, and refreshment vehicles.
Due to the provincial government enacting Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act as of March 24, all non-essential businesses were forced to close. Though taxis, driving schools, and tow trucks fall under essential businesses, the demand for these businesses dropped due to the call for social distancing, and the closure of offices and non-essential businesses. Many drivers also stopped working to prevent coming in contact with the virus.
Council passed the following six recommendations to help the taxi industry and other mobile licensees cope with the impacts of COVID-19 including:
1. Deferral of expiry dates to provide additional time for the licensees to pay the fees:
2. Reduction of licence fees for 3 months while the emergency order is in place for a cost of approximately $150,000 to the City of Brampton:
3. Permitting motor vehicles with a model year of 2010 to remain on the road as registered taxis until May 2021
4. Permitting licensing extensions in 2020 for applicable model years to require only one safety standard certificate as opposed to two
5. Removing the licensing fee for model year extensions and filing of leases
6. Waiving late renewal fees for 2020 on any licence renewed past the expiry date
“Our taxi drivers and tow truck drivers are on the front lines assisting people during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dhillon. “The decision by this Council to assist them was essential. We will continue to stand by our front line workers.”
“We are committed to helping people during this difficult time,” noted Vicente. “We appreciate the work done by everyone in the transportation industry as they are valuable partners in keeping people and goods moving. We are all in this together.”
Singh added: “The taxi and tow truck industry is going through a tough time and we need to stand by them, just like they have stood by our residents fulfilling a very important service.”