Hamilton’s Blue Line taxi issued licence to serve Burlington days after local outlet closes

Hamilton-based Blue Line Taxi has been issued a new taxi licence by the city of Burlington. The service is now in business in the municipality as of Dec. 7, 2021. Global News

A Hamilton-based taxi service has been issued a new licence by the city of Burlington to mitigate the loss of the city’s primary service in late November.

Blue Line Taxi began servicing residents on Tuesday just over a week after Burlington Taxi — a 53-year fixture of the community — closed its doors for good.

Amendments to the city’s vehicle/taxi bylaw were made following the closure allowing for applications to open on Dec. 2, 2021.

The changes are expected to be a temporary solution until city staff undertake a comprehensive review, including an investigation into ridesharing businesses, for a new bylaw prior to December 31, 2023.

With the latest amendment, 13 new taxi vehicles have entered the market as of Tuesday.

Read more: City staff scramble to find a solution as Burlington’s main taxi service set to close it doors

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“I want to thank the successful applicant for coming forward, and I’m grateful to city staff and my council colleagues for working quickly to find a temporary solution to restore taxi service in Burlington immediately,” said Mayor Marianne Meed Ward in a release on Tuesday.

“I also thank staff for their ongoing efforts to bring forward a permanent solution to this issue.”

Ward 4 Coun. Shawna Stolte, who was tasked with trying to find a solution amid Burlington Taxi’s departure said in a statement that additional licenses will be reviewed since multiple taxi companies have come forward with applications.

“It was unfortunate that these changes and amendments were not considered before the closure of Burlington Taxi as this could have avoided the subsequent transportation crisis for many Burlington residents,” Stolte said in a release.

“But I am relieved that an expedient way forward was sought by staff and I look forward to the renewed commitment to this valuable mode of transportation for Burlington residents in the future.”

City staff learned of Burlington Taxi’s closure in early November and had been working to find some sort of temporary transition to another taxi service.

Scott Wallace, president of Burlington taxi, told Global News labour shortages and financial impacts from COVID, as well as increases in vehicle insurance rates and the impact of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft on the taxi transportation industry, were contributors to the shutdown.

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