TORONTO, ONT. — Independent taxi drivers are crying foul over plans to pass them over when more cab and limousine licenses are sold at Pearson International Airport.
The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) says the number of travelers passing through Pearson is now back up to where it was before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. As a result, said spokesperson Connie Turner, the airport needs more limousines.
But the GTAA wants to sell three new licenses — each good for 20 vehicles — to companies with centralized dispatchers.
“Limousine service is different from taxis in that it's supposed to be providing a premium service,” Turner said.
Independent taxi drivers who already have airport licenses said they fear the move by the GTAA will cost them business. Some of them also said there's no need for more licenses.
Driver Rajinder Singh said any new licenses should go to the independents with the most seniority. Singh noted that many of the independent drivers have been working at Pearson for many years, and said they deserve the chance to bid on the licenses.
Almost 29 million people passed through the airport in 2004.