Metrolinx decision to cut fares on the UP Express is “the last nail in the coffin” for the taxi industry, according to the president of the Itaxi workers association of Ontario.
Starting March 9, the cash price to take the UP Express from Union Station to the airport will be cut in half, from $27.50 down to $12 and with a Presto Card it is down to $9 from $19.
Itaxi president Sajid Mughal says taxi’s and limos taking fares to and from the airport are bound to suffer. Couple that with the recent threat to taxi drivers by ride-sharing services such as Uber, and Mughal says he’s never seen the industry at a lower point in time.
“It’s a disaster today and it’s not just one factor it’s quite a few factors damaging the cab industry and damaging the pocket of the cab drivers.”
Mughal says he would like to see the city start a pilot project that would allow people to share their cab ride going to and from the airport. Current city by-laws prevent such an option.
“Pick a few points where the public can share their cab ride with someone else,” he explained. “Instead of paying $60- to $70 going to the airport, if we have two or three people and they can share the price, I think it will be a win-win for the cab driver and for the public.”
The City of Toronto is expected to unveil its proposed regulations on Uber and other ride-sharing services in the spring.