The North Bay Police Board is expecting to have a new bylaw, which will include taxis, ride share and limousine services, by next month.
“That will be our plan and we hope by our July 9 meeting to pass the bylaw to cover all those ride sharing and private transportation,” said Dennis O’Connor, Police Board Chair.
The news came at June’s monthly police board meeting. That meeting was short, but it did have some controversy as Nicky Neal, who is the 5-0 Cab general manager, was under the impression she was going to make a presentation to the board.
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However, she didn’t get a chance to do her presentation because board chair Dennis O’Connor says Neal did not follow the proper process which would allow her to make a presentation during today’s 20-minute long meeting.
“The city of North Bay should be upset with the City and the Police Services Board in how they mandate the taxi industry,” said Neal in a statement to the media today.
She believes the taxi industry's concerns have been ignored by the Police Board as she claims her calls to keep rates low have not been heard.
“These decisions the City and the Police Board have done have not given the industry the opportunity to grow. Now as it stands, the City and the Police Services Board are not enforcing a bylaw they have made the taxi industry live by for decades.”
Neal’s added frustration comes with the news that URide started running its business on the weekend.
“The City and the Police Services Board are not standing by their own bylaws in regards to URide and allowing them to operate in the city with no regulations,” she said.
O’Connor counters that.
“I understand their concerns, you see some other business come in, but the thing about it right now is the Superior Court of Ontario has said already that ride sharing can operate within the province,” said O’Connor.
O’Connor believes that speeding up the process and creating a level playing field now as opposed to waiting until the fall, will be best for all the parties involved.
“I hope she got the information that she needed and we are going to expedite our bylaw because of the ride share coming to North Bay and it is going to be all inclusive,” O’Connor stated about Neal.
“So right now, taxis are the only ones that are covered under our bylaw and of course this goes back before cell phones and everything else. These bylaws, some of them have been around 40 to 50 years. So we have to update them to include apps because at that particular time there were no smartphones so we have to update our bylaw to cover limousines, ride sharing and taxis.”