Please see below a statement by Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.
“This has been a tough couple of days on our community — we are all saddened by news of Burlington Taxi’s closure. This is a huge loss of a long-standing business in our city and a community partner of decades that supported many local charities.
The City learned of their imminent closure about two weeks ago and City staff worked diligently on trying to find a solution. Unfortunately, legislated requirements for any changes to bylaws and procurement of new services was a factor.
In 2018, the bylaw changes requested at that time were unrelated to the issues that caused the company’s closure, which according to Burlington Taxi were a labour shortage and insurance matters as reported by CBC News:
‘Burlington Taxi will stop operating as of Nov. 26, says Scott Wallace, who’s owned the business for 40 years. But it’s not Uber or city rules forcing the closure, he says. Rather, it’s punishing insurance rates and a shortage of drivers.’
The transfer of license plates to another company is a new request that just came in two weeks ago, and staff are reviewing options and hope to have something to council next week.
Burlington Taxi acknowledged the diligent work of Council in their statement and we thank them for that. The pandemic, and resulting labour shortages, as well as ongoing disruptions in the taxi industry from ride sharing services all play a role and have impacted businesses in a way not seen in a generation. The City will continue to work on a solution to bridge the gap in service and expect to have a report to council in early December. We recognize that there will be people who relied on this service who will be negatively impacted during this transition and sincerely regret that. Please know we are all working as quickly as we can to address this.
For additional information, please see the statement from Ward 4 Counc. Shawna Stolte who has worked closely with Burlington Taxi as soon as she learned about their situation, and remains committed to a transportation solution to fill the gap left behind as soon as possible. As well as, a news release issued by the City of Burlington.”
-Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward
*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist