Burlington councillors move quickly to address surprise closing of local taxi company

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Published December 1, 2021 at 1:43 pm

The City of Burlington has moved quickly in an attempt to fill the taxi for local residents.

Burlington’s main taxi service provider, Burlington Taxi, suddenly ceased operations last Friday.

At a Special Council meeting yesterday (Tuesday, Nov. 30), council approved amending the Public Vehicle By-law to allow exemptions to existing licensing requirements so other taxi services can apply to provide service for Burlington residents.

“Burlington Council is moving quickly to find a solution within the next few days to close the gaps in taxi service in our city,” said Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.

“Staff will be bringing forward a permanent solution in the new year. We have heard from the community the direct impacts the gap in service has had on our residents.

“While we have heard that the key reasons for Burlington Taxi’s closure — high insurance rates and insufficient number of drivers — are unrelated to the bylaw review requested in 2018, we acknowledge that review should have occurred.

“We hope to have some temporary measures in place very shortly to serve the residents in our community who rely on taxi service. We thank those residents who have pitched in to help friends and family in the interim. Your generosity is part of what makes Burlington a great place to live.”

Starting tomorrow, Dec. 2, applications for new taxi owner licences/plates will be open until all spaces are full.

The by-law amendment allows licences to be awarded on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis. Complete applications will be processed as soon as possible to address the current service gap in Burlington.

Applicants can visit the city website for more information on the criteria and documentation required.

“The closure of Burlington Taxi has clearly led to significant stress on members of our community who rely on this critical form of transportation, as well as highlight fundamental updates needed to our Taxi/Vehicle Bylaw,” said Ward 4 councillor Shawna Stolte.

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