The North Bay Police Services Board is accelerating its revised taxi bylaw to include rideshare.
The original plan was to have it in place by this fall.
However, police board chairman Dennis O’Connor says after Uride began offering services in North Bay this past weekend, the board decided to move the date for a revised taxi bylaw to this summer.
O’Connor says the bylaw will be presented for board approval at a special July 9th meeting.
Normally the board doesn’t meet over the summer, but O’Connor says it’s making an exception so the taxi bylaw is in place.
O’Connor says the consultants the board has hired to create the bylaw will have a draft ready to be posted on the police department’s website in about two weeks.
He says that gives the public time to examine it and then the board will hold two forums, one during the day and one at night for residents to comment on the draft.
Once all the input is in, the proposed by-law will come to the board at its July 9th meeting and if it’s passed, it takes affect the same day.
“This should even things out at a level playing field,” O’Connor said.
“You’re not going to keep everyone happy all the time but right now it’s not fair that the taxis are the only ones under our bylaw. We’re going to make sure everyone falls under our bylaw.”
O’Connor says his words should serve as a warning to any rideshare programs coming to North Bay.
“They’re going to have to be ready to fall under our bylaw,” he said.
“So you better make sure your procedures are right for insurance, security backgrounds and all the things that are going to be in our bylaw. If you’re doing all those things, you’ll be fine.”
O’Connor says he understands the anxiety and frustrations the taxi owners are experiencing.
He says they don’t know what their business will look like.
But he feels confident that once a level playing field is in place with the revised taxi bylaw, matters should work out for all parties.