Orillia Council amended the City’s vehicle-for-hire by-law to remove barriers and open the door further for ride-sharing services to operate in the City of Orillia at its meeting on Feb. 10.
“I would like to commend Council on their thorough and respectful debate on the issue of ride-sharing licensing in the City of Orillia,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “Council has always been unanimous in our desire to welcome ride-sharing services to the Sunshine City. Despite our difference of opinion on the licensing regime, Council came to a decision that I believe is in the best interest of our community. The ball is now in the court of private ride-sharing companies to apply for a licence to operate in Orillia. We look forward to them coming.”
Council amended Chapter 725 of the City of Orillia Municipal Code – Vehicle-for-Hire Licensing to implement the following changes:
• Remove the requirement for a vulnerable sector screening certificate for transportation network company drivers and taxicab drivers before such a driver is able to operate in the City for the first time and alternatively, require a criminal record check provided such driver does not provide transportation services to unaccompanied persons under 18 years of age;
• Add an offence prohibiting a transportation network company driver or taxicab driver from providing transportation services to unaccompanied persons under 18 years of age without first having obtained and provided a vulnerable sector screening certificate;
• Reduce the existing business licence fees for transportation network companies and taxicab companies by 20 per cent;
• Remove the requirement preventing a transportation network company driver or taxicab driver from providing transportation services if convicted of specific Highway Traffic Act offences as detailed in Chapter 725;
• Remove the requirement for a Safety Standards Certificate to be submitted to a transportation network company biannually for vehicles that exceed 40,000 kilometres in the prior year.
In July 2018, following extensive research and public consultation, Council adopted a by-law to license and regulate ride-sharing services and the taxi industry. Since 2018, no ride-sharing service has applied for a licence to operate in the City of Orillia. Following significant feedback from the community regarding the lack of reliable late-night transportation, staff presented a report on Feb. 3, 2020 outlining a number of options for Council’s consideration that would encourage ride-sharing services to operate in Orillia.