OWNERS’ RIGHTS ON THE AGENDA
Peter Zahakos, General Manager of Co-op Cabs is a strong leader in the taxi cab industry. Often one of the first to speak out on issues of importance, he doesn’t shy away from doing what needs to be done to make the industry more fair.
See below for his take on a number of ways that he feels that drivers rights should be enhanced:
### Improved Spousal Transfer Procedure
Upon the death of a standard plate owner there should be an automatic one time transfer at no charge to the spouse. The spouse should not be required to complete the cab drivers course.
### The right to incorporate
The standard plate owner should have the right to incorporate his taxicab business.
### Recognize the taxicab as an asset
It should be recognized that the taxicab is an asset and that it has collateral value.
### Multiple-plate ownership
Owners should be able to own multiple plates.
### Mandatory completion of the Cab Drivers course
Anyone wishing to purchase a taxicab owners license should have completed the Cab Drivers course.
### No required refresher course for non-drivers
Owners who do not drive should not be required to attend the owners refresher course.
### The right to lease taxicabs and hold multiple leasing
Owners should have the right to lease out their taxicabs. The lessee should also have the right to register the vehicle in their own name. Thus there would be split ownership licenses the plates should be registered in owners name and the vehicle in lessees name. Further multiple leasing should be allowed.
### The right to employ managing agents
Owners should have the right to employ agents to manage their taxicabs. The city should ensure that the agents are of good character by licensing them and they should also have a place of business and also be bonded.
### A new taxicab issuing formula
It is important that the City develop a proper taxicab issuing formula. One that is tailor made for the city of Toronto, is objective and free of political interference. The formula should dictate how many standard taxicab licenses there are in operation. Also the formula should determine the amount of vehicles that are accessible or for van service. The formula should be reviewed on a yearly basis.
### One license class
There should only be one class of license and that should be the standard license with these enhanced property rights.
Immediate transfer of Ambassador and Accessible owners licenses to
### Standard licenses
All existing Ambassador Licenses and existing Accessible owners licenses should be transferred to Standard licenses immediately. Conversion should occur as the formula dictates. Ambassador or accessible owners while waiting for the conversion to occur should have the right to employ drivers if they have a serious illness and in the event that they pass away then their license should be immediately transferred to their spouse at no charge as a standard license.
Peter as spoken to the City of Toronto about these issues and many others. Let us know if there issues of importance to you that you’d like to talk about.