Orillia is looking for feedback on some potential rules governing taxis and ride-sharing services in town. A public meeting at the Orillia City Centre starting at 6:00 is taking public input on a draft by-law intended to level a playing field among the now-heavily regulated taxis in town, and services like Uber that currently don’t have the same restrictions.
The process to regulate both taxis and ride-shares began back in January of 2017, when council asked city staff to compare existing regulations with those of other municipalities, with aims to amend the Municipal Code’s Taxi Licensing By-Law. Over the course of a year, City Hall says it has received nine complaints about Uber-operated vehicles in town, all from cab companies within Orillia and not from the general public. To the City of Orillia’s knowledge, less than five Uber drivers operate in city limits, on a highly sporadic basis.
The new rules being suggested aim to provide the taxi industry with as much flexibility as possible, to innovate and compete without unnecessary restrictions, accoridng to the city staff report, with a heavy focus on refining the licinsing process.