The Kingston Area Taxi Commission (KATC) has issued a licence to Uber and its drivers in the Kingston area. This comes after Kingston City Council voted to regulate ride-share companies in Kingston and Loyalist in March 2022.
Effective June 1, 2022, under City of Kingston Bylaw 2022-06 (A By-Law to Regulate and License Transportation Network Companies in the City of Kingston), frontline licensing and enforcement functions will be administered by the KATC with continuing oversight by the City, according to a release from the KATC.
This news comes after more than a month of meetings and deliberations regarding taxi fare hikes, as well as investigations into the inner workings of the Taxi Commission, and what can only be described as a tense standoff between those in the taxi industry and the current KATC. In April 2022, the KATC approved a 40 per cent fare increase, despite the taxi companies suggesting a 20 per cent increase to fares. In fact, the taxi companies refused to raise fares to this level after the hike was put in place by the KATC — despite the risk of being fined for doing so.
After much public and private outcry about the 40 per cent fare increase, the KATC made amendments revoking the massive increase. The revised fares will amount to a more palatable 20 per cent increase over the previous cost of taking a cab before the controversy. Just over a week after that decision was announced, Kingston City Council voted to explore Taxi Commission alternatives, a result of the most recent issues, as well as ongoing “concerns with the oversight of the KATC for a number of years,” according to the motion that passed by a vote of 11-2.
All Uber drivers operating in the Kingston area will now be covered under the issued licence, and enforcement will be “complaints based,” KATC stated.
Any complaints relating to Uber service or operators in Kingston should be directed to the KATC Office at (613) 547-3763 ext.101 or [email protected].