Oh, this is sweet.
A lottery for accessible taxi licenses, in a city which has just decimated the taxi industry by granting unlimited free taxi licenses to Uber... and what do we get?
Whomever is designing policy for the City of Hamilton has come up with this ridiculous idea of a lottery for accessible taxi licenses... that would require the applicant to spend about $45,000 for an accessible vehicle, in order to have access to a taxi market that has been utterly decimated by the stealth introduction of unlimited taxi licenses to the Uber cab company.
(Compare that to Uber's sweet deal. Instead of even spending the $45,000 to provide even ONE SINGLE accessible Uber cab, all Uber has to do is pay an annual $20,000 for an exemption to the AODA law. It's a nice law if you can buy it.)
My first guess is that most of the people on the taxicab priority list, who have been waiting for 25 to 30 years for a standard taxi license, thumbed their noses at the city's dastardly bait and switch offer for a taxi license, conditional upon the license being for an accessible taxi. In other words, for a license that is virtually worthless. (my guess is that almost 100% of those who DID accept this pathetic offer have already made informal arrangements to have someone else actually operate those vehicles.)
Let me spell it out for you in simple terms.
Even though the taxi market was restricted to a limited number of providers, Pre-Uber, the market was already saturated. The existing supply of licensed cabs remained idle 75% of the time.
When the city government decided to grant access to Uber to the Hamilton taxi market, the equivalent of taxi owner's licenses for micro-pennies on the dollar, the earnings per licensed taxicab were reduced by 30% to 50%.
And in the face of impending disaster for the non-exempt taxi operators in Hamilton, the City is casting a net in anticipation that there will be enough IDIOTS who will be lured into this "deal." They are calling it a "lottery" but the odds of winning are even worse than the "Cash for Life" scam. This is a lottery where the ticket buyer has absolutely zero chance of winning.
I know a guy who was victimized by the pre-Uber accessible license scam. Instead of being offered the standard taxi license he had been waiting for 28 or so years for, he was offered a conditional license. His license would only be granted if he spent $45 G's of his own money on an accessible vehicle. Right off the bat, that just isn't fair. But who cares about "fairness" when it comes down to politics?
And he fell for it. (In his defense, he didn't really have much choice. The loving government made him an offer he couldn't really refuse. It was either a wheelchair plate, or nothing. "Accessible transportation is a right, not a privilege." Therefore, the guy who waited 28 years for a license finds he has, no rights, no privileges, only obligations. By the way, that is the essence of liberalism.)
So now, he finds himself being singled out to drive unreasonable distances, because he is the only accessible cab "available" at certain times, for short, unprofitable trips, all because, under the AODA, disabled people have rights, and he has to pay for them.
Poor guy. He doesn't know what hit him. He probably even votes Liberal.
I derive no pleasure in seeing how badly this man has been screwed by the ideology he probably unwittingly votes for. In a way, I almost admire him for his ability to carry on, despite knowing that he is the victim of a grave injustice.
And now they want to sucker people into buying MORE accessible taxis, even as the market shrinks.
Never before has the IGNORANCE, or blatant sociopathy, of Hamilton's political decision-makers been so openly displayed.
I know some very resourceful and clever entrepreneurs in the Hamilton taxi business. Maybe one of them will come up with some kind of scam whereby they offer to lease those accessible licenses, under the table if necessary, in order to squeeze some marginal profit out of the enterprise.
But anyone who would accept one of these licenses, with the intention of incurring the massive expenses involved in buying and operating their own accessible taxicabs....
Is fucking nuts.
Accessible Taxicab Owner Licence
"The licenses were initially offered to individuals on the Taxicab Priority List and there are three remaining accessible taxicab owner plates available for 2017. As a result, an electronic lottery will be held for all individuals who are qualified to hold a taxicab owner licence."