July 14, 2015 – PAN AM GAMES VISITORS BEWARE Toronto City Councillor warns passengers of unlicensed taxis can now be fined up to $20,000
Toronto City Councillor Jim Karygiannis is warning Pan Am Games visitors to be wary of using anything but licensed taxi services while visiting Toronto.
“I want to warn pan am games visitors that they risk being charged and fined up to $20,000 if they use any unlicensed bandit taxis like UBER in Ontario” said Karygiannis in a statement.
He added, “Two weeks ago a judge ruled that passengers, not Uber, arranges rides with UBERX drivers. It is this court ruling which now puts passengers at risk. UberX drivers are unlicensed taxis. Under Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act a person who arranges for a ride in an unlicensed taxi is guilty of an offence with a fine of not less than $300 and not greater than $20,000. “
The Highway Traffic Act reads as follows:
39.1 (1) A driver of a motor vehicle other than a bus shall not pick up a passenger for the purpose of transporting him or her for compensation where a licence, permit or authorization is required to do so by,
(a) the Public Vehicles Act;
(b) a municipal by-law passed under Part IV of the Municipal Act, 2001;
(c) a regulation made under the Department of Transport Act (Canada); or
(d) an airport or airport authority,
except under the authority of such licence, permit or authorization. 2005, c. 26, Sched. A, s. 4.
(3) No person shall arrange or offer to arrange for a passenger to be picked up in a motor vehicle other than a bus for the purpose of being transported for compensation except under the licence, permit or au-thorization that is required to do so, as described in subsection (1). 2005, c. 26, Sched. A, s. 4.
(8) Every person who contravenes subsection (1), (2), (3), (4) or (6) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $300 and not more than $20,000. 2005, c. 26, Sched. A, s. 4
“Last week Toronto City Council voted unanimously to ask Toronto Police and city by-law enforcement to enforce the Highway Traffic Act and all city by-laws.”
“I believe Justice Dunphy’s decision took Uber, the company, off the hook, and put UberX passengers and drivers into the frying pan. The courts, in their wisdom, have now added legal responsibility to passengers. Under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act passengers can be charged.
“My advice to visitors and residents of Toronto is, when in doubt use a licensed taxicab”