Ugh, this is such a basic issue I don't get why it isn't being addressed properly. You can't legislate away technology. You can't legislate away changing cultural attitudes. You know what you can legislate away?
Inflated artificial secondary markets.
The driver fit a template I knew only too well. He was a middle-aged immigrant man, stuck in the cab industry because there was nothing else. He’d been at work since 6 a.m. Like almost every other driver in the city, he didn’t own his car. Instead, he rented one for $80 per day. This was for a 12-hour day shift. Another driver rented the car at night for $90.
A large chunk of these rental charges go toward leasing the Toronto cab plate attached to the car. The Diamond driver had two hours left in his 12-hour shift. I asked him how much he had grossed for the day. He pulled it up on his meter: $109.
He had to pay $80 for the day rental, plus fuel. By the end of the day, he estimated, he would net between $20 and $40.
That's what the problem with Toronto's taxi industry is. The limited amount of licenses the city issues which drives up their values that cabbies can't afford, so they have to lease them from the plate owners and pay whatever the asking price is for that "privilege".
Now, this mess is caused by the city and also the reason why the city won't address the real problem: No matter how much money the cab drivers make, the lions share goes to the actual plate owners. Those plate owners get the plates from the city and it only releases a limited amount. Supply and demand kicks in. In 2012, one of those plates sold for $360,000.00!!!
Listen, the reality is, cabs are going bye-bye. For me, personally, I signed up for UBER the day I finally had enough of being driven by for the umpteenth time by a cab or told they're "waiting for a fare" or any other sorts of dehumanizing bullshit cabbies put Black people through.
I got me an UBER and guess what? No dehumanizing bullshit, no arguments about fares, I get in where I want and get to where I want and it's way cheaper than a cab. Sold.
On May 3-4, City Council will be voting on ridesharing regulations. This is the most important vote that will determine the future of ridesharing in the city...otherwise known as UBER. Click Here and sign the petition.