Oakville introduces licensing by-law to regulate Transportation Network Companies

Tue, 13 Dec 2016

At the December 12, 2016, meeting, Town Council approved a new licensing by-law allowing Transportation Network Companies (TNC) to operate legally in Oakville. The new regulations focus on health and safety and consumer protection, and ensure that residents continue to have safe, reliable and consistent transportation options when travelling in Oakville.

“We know that the app-based technology used by companies like Uber is here to stay, and that many Oakville residents already use these services,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “This new by-law ensures proper oversight of these services while addressing both community and consumer needs.”

The new by-law comes after a year of extensive research, best practice reviews of other municipal regulations, and public and stakeholder consultation to determine appropriate licensing options for TNCs. Oakville joins other cities in the province including Niagara Region, Ottawa, Toronto, and Waterloo Region to enact TNC licensing by-laws.

The town’s licensing framework places accountability on TNCs to ensure that any driver using their platform is operating in compliance with the town’s by-law. Regulations include:

  • TNCs must provide the town’s Enforcement Services with driver and vehicle information to ensure electronic compliance checks can be done.
  • An annual, tiered licensing fee structure that is based on the number of vehicles the TNC is operating in Oakville.
  • TNCs must give passengers the cost range of the trip, description of the vehicle, license plate number, driver name and photo before the trip starts.
  • Criminal reference checks for all drivers is mandatory.
  • A safety standards certificate from a licensed Ontario mechanic for each vehicle operating under a TNC is required.
  • All vehicles operating under a TNC must be identifiable with a window marking.
  • Street hailing of TNC vehicles is prohibited. All trips must be booked in advance through the TNCs mobile app.
  • TNCs are required to provide accessible mobile apps.
  • The age limit of TNC vehicles is seven years.

With these regulations in place for TNCs, town staff will continue to assess the impact of ridesharing services on the taxi cab industry and will present a new taxi by-law to Council for consideration in 2018.

For more information, review the staff report in the December 5, 2016 Administrative Services Committee agenda.