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Taxi, Limousines and Private Transportation Companies

Taxi Licensing

The City of Ottawa’s new Vehicle-For-Hire By-law (By-law 2016-272) went into effect on September 30, 2016.

The Vehicle for Hire By-law is derived from the Taxi Cab and Limousine Regulations Report that was approved by Council in April 2016.  This report was created from extensive stakeholder and public consultations conducted in fall 2015.

This new by-law incorporates modernized regulations that allows to Ottawa’s traditional taxi industry to innovate and compete more freely with Private Transportation Companies.

The modernized regulations:

  • Reduce the taxi driver license fee by 40 per cent
  • Eliminate the $1.50 credit and debit card fee for clients
  • Allow taxi companies to offer reduce fair for rides booked through an app
  • Waive the taxi driver license fee for accessible taxis
  • Eliminate the interior and trunk size requirements for vehicles
  • Permit taxi companies to establish their own industry-specific customer training
  • Provide exclusive right to taxis for street-hails and use of taxi stands
  • Retain exclusivity for Para Transpo services
  • Allow for nominal cancellation fees when trips are cancelled at the pick-up address.

Licensing for Drivers, Plate Holders and Dispatch Companies

To apply for, or renew, any form of taxi license, individuals must apply in person at:

By-law & Regulatory Services
Client Service Counter
735 Industrial Avenue

The hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Please review By-law 2016-272, Part II in its entirety prior to applying to ensure you meet all requirements and conditions.

Applicants must bring all the original documentation detailed in the by-law, at the same time, in order to be processed.

Driver applicants will be further required to sign a declaration confirming that they do not have any current outstanding criminal charges or warrants pending before any courts, or any unpaid fines within the Province of Ontario. Failing to disclose charges, warrants and/or fines can result in criminal charges, fines and/or the suspension or termination of licenses.

All licences must be renewed annually by April 30th.

Taxicab security cameras

Notice to individuals – collection of personal information

Personal information, in the form of images recorded by the taxicab security cameras, is collected for the security of all taxicab occupants — both drivers and passengers — under the authority of s. 9, 10, 11 and 151 of the Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c.25, as amended, and pursuant to s. 39 of the City of Ottawa’s By-law Number 2016-272, as amended (the Vehicle-for-Hire By-law).

The recorded images will only be downloaded by authorized representatives of the Ottawa Police Service and used by them for the purposes of law enforcement where there are reasonable grounds to believe that a Criminal Code offence has or will take place in or about a taxicab. Information obtained from the recorded images may be disclosed by the Ottawa Police Service to the City of Ottawa’s Chief Licence Inspector, where the disclosure is required in compelling circumstances affecting the health and safety of the taxicab operator or of a member for the public.

Questions about the specifications and operation of the taxicab security camera system, or use of the personal information by the City, may be directed to: Program Manager, Enforcement, By-law and Regulatory Services Branch, City of Ottawa, by mail at 735 Industrial Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 5J1, or by telephone at (613) 580-2424, ext. 29257.

Questions regarding the downloading, use and disclosure of the personal information by the Ottawa Police Service may be directed to: Staff Sergeant, Forensic Identification Section, Ottawa Police Service, by mail at P.O. Box 9634, Station T, Ottawa, ON, K1G 6H5, or by telephone at (613) 236-1222, ext. 5320

Limousine Service Licensing

A Limousine Service License is required for a business providing pre-arranged passenger ground transportation services utilizing limousines.

A new auxiliary service category has also been created to permit specialty services such as senior assistance services and responsible-choice services to help prevent drinking and driving

Approximate cost

  • The Licensing fee for a Limousine Service operator is $941.00. Operator licenses expire annually on August 31.
  • For each vehicle registered, the licensee must pay $545.00. Vehicle licences expire annually on August 31. This fee does not apply to auxiliary service vehicles.
  • For each temporary limousine registered, the licensee must pay $58.00. The expiry date will be indicated on the certificate.
  • The fee to transfer a license is $50.00.
  • The fee to change the name of the licensee is $50.00.
  • The fee to change the location of the licensee is $100.00.
  • The fee to register a replacement vehicle is $50.00.

Approximate timeline

  • 3 weeks*

*Timelines are approximate and may be longer due to unforeseen circumstances.

Permit requirements

Who to contact

Business Licensing Centre – 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Business Licensing Centre, 735 Industrial Ave.

Private Transportation Company Licensing

The City of Ottawa’s new Vehicle-For-Hire By-law (By-law 2016-272) went into effect on September 30, 2016.

The Vehicle for Hire By-Law is derived from the Taxi Cab and Limousine Regulations Report that was approved by Council in April 2016.  This report was created from extensive stakeholder and public consultations conducted in fall 2015.

This new by-law incorporates modernized regulations to provide consumers with more transportation options, improved services and increased consumer protection.  In addition to improvements to traditional taxi services, residents and visitors in Ottawa can now take advantage of innovative new ride sharing services.

The modernized regulations:

  • Require Driver Screening: All drivers of any vehicle-for-hire (taxi, limousine, private transportation companies) now require Police Records Checks for Service with the vulnerable sector and a Statement of Driving Record
  • Set Vehicle Age Limits: Vehicles for hire can be no more than 10 years old (excluding classic, vintage and specialty limousines)
  • Set Vehicle Safety Standards: All vehicles for hire must have an annual MTO Safety Standards Certificate and a biannual inspection for all vehicles over five years of age.
  • Require Adequate Insurance:  Drivers now require a minimum of $5 million commercial general liability insurance in addition to motor-vehicle insurance of $2 million.
  • Offer increased consumer protection: Private transportation vehicles cannot accept cash payments or pick up passengers via on-street hails or at taxi stands. Rides can only be pre-arranged through a booking and purchase through an app. Records of all trips are provided to the City and the City has the ability to audit companies to ensure all safety standards and other requirements are being met.

Licensing for Private Transportation Companies

To apply for, or renew, a license as a Private Transportation Company, applications must be made in person at:

By-law &Regulatory Services
Client Service Counter
735 Industrial Avenue

The hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Please review By-law 2016-272, Part IV in its entirety prior to applying to ensure you meet all requirements and conditions.

Licensing for Private Transportation Company Drivers

While By-law 2016-272, Part IV defines the licensing requirements for drivers, it is the responsibility of the Private Transportation Company to license and administer their own drivers. To inquire about becoming a driver, please contact the company directly.

 

Notice to PTC Drivers: Indirect Collection of Personal Information

BACKGROUND:

The City of Ottawa’s Vehicle-for-Hire By-law (By-law No. 2016-272) requires Private Transportation Companies (“PTCs”) in Ottawa to obtain a license from the City and to comply with prescribed regulations. 

In addition, the Vehicle for Hire By-law also requires PTC drivers to comply with specific regulations, such as having an acceptable driving history and police record check, and having appropriate automobile liability insurance as set out in the by-law.  Under the by-law, PTC drivers are prohibited from picking-up fares at taxi stands or by “street hailing”, and must be affiliated with a licensed PTC when providing transportation services, among other requirements.  

A Private Transportation Company (“PTC”) is a person, corporation, or other entity that offers, facilitates, or operates prearranged transportation services for compensation in Ottawa using an app, software, telecommunications platform or digital network to connect passengers with drivers and vehicles (but a PTC does not include a licensed taxicab using an app).  A PTC driver is an individual who is affiliated with a PTC to transport passengers for compensation using a PTC vehicle.  A PTC vehicle is a motor vehicle with a capacity for 6 passengers (plus the driver) that is used by a PTC driver to provide transportation services that are offered or facilitated by the PTC.

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

The Vehicle for Hire By-law is passed by City Council under to its authority to enact by-laws for the health, safety and well being of persons, and for the protection of persons and property, including consumer protection, in addition to its business licensing powers, as permitted by paragraphs 6, 8 and 11 of Subsection 10(2) and Section 151of the Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c.25.  In addition, pursuant to Subsection 8(3) of the Municipal Act, 2001, City Council may regulate or prohibit vehicles-for-hire and their drivers, and may require a person involved with vehicles-for-hire to do certain things.

INDIRECT COLLECTION OF INFORMATION:

In accordance with Section145 of the Vehicle-for-Hire By-law, the Chief License Inspector of the City of Ottawa collects from the licensed PTC the following information about PTC drivers and PTC vehicles:

  • the name and address of every PTC driver affiliated with the PTC;
  • the make, model, colour, and license plate of every PTC vehicle affiliated with the PTC; and
  • confirmation (i.e. “yes/no”) from the PTC that every PTC driver affiliated with the PTC meets the requirements of the by-law (a drivers licence,  proof of an acceptable statement of driving record and police record check, a declaration of no outstanding Criminal Code charges or warrants, and proof of required automobile liability insurance).

The information noted above is collected by the Chief License Inspector or his delegates in the By-law & Regulatory Services Branch for the purposes of by-law enforcement, and will be used by authorized staff to investigate and enforce compliance with the by-law, including the conducting of by-law investigations and  by-law inspections as required, which could lead to proceedings before the City of Ottawa’s License and Property Standards Committee or a court of competent jurisdiction from which penalties or sanctions may be imposed.

In accordance with Section 146 of the Vehicle-for-Hire by-law, the Chief License Inspector of the City of Ottawa may also require a licensed PTC to provide any record or information that the PTC is required to obtain or verify under the by-law, including information about PTC drivers and PTC vehicles noted above.  The collection by the Chief License Inspector of these records or information will occur only on a case-by-case basis for the purposes of investigating and enforcing compliance with the Vehicle-for-Hire By-law. 

CONTACT FOR QUESTIONS AND INFORMATION:

Requests for information about the Vehicle-for-Hire By-law, and questions about the collection and use by the City of Ottawa of the above-noted information, may be directed to: Chief License Inspector, By-law and Regulatory Services Branch, City of Ottawa, by mail at 735 Industrial Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5M7, or by telephone at (613) 580-2424, ext. 41362, or by e-mail at: roger.chapman@ottawa.ca.    

Guidelines for safe and reliable service

Taxi identification

Outside look for a:

  • Numbered plate on the right side of the rear bumper, or
  • Roof sign indicating the car number and taxi company

Inside look for a Passenger Information Card indicating:

  • The car number
  • Information on fares and baggage charges
  • Who to contact to register a compliment or complaint about the service
  • Driver's photo identification and identifying number
  • Taxi meter set by the City

Taxi driver responsibilities

  • Provide courteous service to passengers
  • Take the most direct route to the destination
  • Keep the taxi clean and tidy
  • Accommodate not more than five persons during one trip
  • Charge fares only by using the taxi meter (plus baggage charges)
  • Help a disabled person from the curb to the cab
  • Agree to transport a guide dog (if not allergic) or ensure another cab is immediately dispatched

Reporting service quality

  • Compliments will be passed on to the taxi driver if the driver is properly identified
  • Complaints will result in a proper investigation and may in turn improve taxi service
  • Report your experience as soon as possible by calling the City at 3-1-1
  • Facts like the car number, driver number, location of pick-up and time of day will help officials track the driver. Better yet ask for a receipt.

Private Transportation Companies

Outside look for:

  • Colour and licence plate matching the description provided by the app you ordered the ride from.

Inside look for:

  • An identification card from the company verifying that individual driving is the same driver identified by the app. The card should have the picture of the driver, first and last name, name of the PTC company and, make, model and license plate number

Unlicensed transportation providers

Using unlicensed transportation providers is risky and is strongly discouraged by the City of Ottawa.

With unlicensed providers, there is no restitution if you are overcharged or receive poor service, nor is there any guarantee of vehicle insurance and drivers are not screened for prior criminal activity.

Taxis

How to recognize a City of Ottawa licensed taxicab:

  • Roof sign indicating the car number and taxi company
  • City of Ottawa licence plate located at the right side of the rear bumper
  • Identification number — inside and outside the cab
  • Tariff card listing fees located inside the car
  • Photo identification of the driver located inside the car bearing the Ottawa logo

In addition, licensed taxis have debit/credit card machines for customer convenience and in-car security cameras to protect drivers and passengers. 

Blue Line Taxi Co. Ltd
613-238-1111
455 Coventry Rd., Ottawa, ON K1K 2C5

Capital Taxi
613-744-3333
263 Hannah, Vanier, ON K1L 7N1

DJ's Taxi
613-829-9900
455 Coventry Rd., Ottawa ON K1K 2C5

West-Way Taxi
613-727-0101
11 Bentley Ave., Nepean, ON K2E 6T7

Executive Cabs

613-248-3558
979 Pleasant Park Rd., Ottawa, ON K1G 1Z6

Licensed Private Transportation Companies

Private vehicles are used for Private Transportation Companies, so they are not as recognizable as taxis.

For you own safety, only use a Private Transportation Company Driver that has been booked by an app – never accept a ride from a driver off the street. The driver must also have an identification card from the company available for you to verify.

The following are private transportation companies licensed for operations within the City of Ottawa.

Don't let bandit drivers take you for a ride! Your safety may depend on it.

For more information call 3-1-1.