LONDON, Ontario – London has a new taxi-limousine bylaw, but no sure prospect for peace in a battle that's raged for 18 months. City council just approved a bylaw delivering new rates, newer vehicles and new rules for taxicabs and limousines.
But there's no guarantee it will deliver the peace many hoped it would as the owner of a limousine service vowed to keep fighting to keep his business alive.
"It's very difficult to please everybody, so there's always going to be contentious issues," said Councilman Roger Caranci, who chairs the council's environment and transportation committee.
"But I think many of the people are happy with what transpired tonight."
At least 200 taxi and limousine drivers turned out for the meeting, filling the public gallery and spilling into the main-floor foyer. Several police officers were on hand to assist security.
The biggest loser under the bylaw will be All Around Limousine. All Around's launch 18 months ago sparked complaints from cabbies that the company was operating illegally and taking their fares.
Although All Around won a court battle with the city, the new bylaw puts the company's minivans in a new category that owner Sultan Sultan says could put him out of business.
"We're not going to accept this as a reasonable outcome," said Hamoody Hassan, All Around's lawyer.
All Around wanted to maintain its executive limousine status and not be classified as "group vehicles" charging the highest rate of $30 an hour.
The only concession to the company was to allow it to operate under its current status until June 30 to "give them time to adjust" to the new bylaw.