How the Ottawa taxi industry could help Ottawa’s auto industry
Navigating to auto-oriented restaurants and shopping centres is a rite of passage for many Ottawa taxi drivers.
But the city is also struggling with a housing crisis and the city’s taxi drivers have found themselves at odds with the taxi unions.
Now, they’re seeking a way to ease the transition for drivers who want to keep their jobs.
“I think it’s time to open the doors of a little shop,” said Dave O’Connor, an Ottawa taxi driver who is seeking to become a mediator between the city and the taxi drivers union.
O’Connor is not the only taxi driver trying to help navigate the city through the challenges facing Ottawa’s taxi industry.
In a meeting with councillors last week, cab drivers across the city expressed concerns about the city planning for the housing crisis.
They said they would prefer to be able to access the public transit system if they had access to taxis.
Ophrem Simeon, the city manager of transportation, has said the city will be taking the taxi industry’s concerns seriously, and plans to hold a public meeting later this month to discuss the issue.
He said he’s also looking at whether taxi drivers could have access to public transit.
Simeone said Ottawa will not allow taxi drivers to take rides from their cars without having a driver on board.
The city said it would be willing to accept the help of a mediating body to ease their transition, and said it will hold a series of public meetings this month and in the fall.
Taxi drivers across Ottawa have come together in an effort to get an agreement in place so that they can start working with their fellow drivers.
Ojibway cab driver Andrew Kwan said the meeting on Wednesday was an important one, because the union has been pushing for a mediation since last year.
Ondi Orenstein, a taxi driver in the Rideau-Gatineau area, said the union needs to make the negotiations easier for its members, who have had to take the road less traveled.
Orensteins main concern is that a new administration will allow for more rapid growth in the city, which is a concern for drivers.
He also said there’s not much money available for the taxi union to work with.
“They’re the ones that are losing the jobs,” he said.
“It’s a shame.
The only reason they’re doing this is because of the money they’ve been losing.”
Orenston said he hopes the city agrees to give cab drivers the right to have a driver onboard their vehicles so they can access the transit system.
“That’s the only way we’re going to get the people who are getting stuck in traffic in Ottawa to move to somewhere where they’re going somewhere,” he added.
Orega taxi driver Jiri Kondor said he has to wait about three months for his new job in Ottawa because he doesn’t have enough money to get by on.
“You’re not going to be getting paid,” he told CBC News.
“And you can’t have a job where you have no money.
It’s a hell of a lot easier to take a cab than to walk.”
But the taxi driver association wants to work out a deal that will enable it to get a piece of the action.
“We need a real settlement,” said J.P. Wirth, president of the Ottawa Taxi Workers Association.
“There’s no way around it.
There’s no solution to this.”
He said the negotiations will be important to ensure that Ottawa drivers get paid and that there are safe, accessible routes for people to get to work.
“If we’re allowed to have that, then everybody will be able.
I don’t care how good your drivers are.
I’m willing to pay you $200 a week.
I’ll pay you as much as $200 for that,” he argued.
He’s also worried about how many cab drivers are going to stay in Ottawa if they can’t get a job.
“Cab drivers are a very important part of our community, and there’s no question about it,” he explained.
“The city has got to figure out a way for them to be part of that, or there’s going to have to be some type of intervention.”
Oregas members, however, are willing to do anything to make it happen.
“To us it’s about getting a job, getting out of the car, going to a job,” said Kondorf.
“A lot of our drivers are stuck in the car for hours at a time, and we want to have some kind of solution.”
The mayor has yet to sign off on the mediator agreement.
Councillor Paul Giambrone, the chair of the transportation committee, has also expressed concern that Ottawa may be putting a squeeze on the taxi workers, because they are the ones most likely to need support.
“For us to have all the different parties in the