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In May of 2011, OMCA wrote to the Mayor of Toronto requesting that the City end the discriminatory and unfair practice of issuing $300 parking tickets to buses which are in the process of loading or unloading passengers. Only buses are subject to these high fines, all other vehicles, including large trucks, are subject to fines of only $40 to $60. OMCA is concerned about this policy for two reasons. First, the inequity in the level of fines imposed on buses compared to all other vehicles, and second, that enforcement staff are showing a lack of judgement and appropriate discretion when issuing to fines to buses who loading or unloading passengers at venues.
The Traffic Operations Department for the City of Toronto responded on behalf of the Mayor, rejecting OMCA’s request that the policy be reviewed. The letter said that there is no need for a change because (based entirely on hearsay) buses park illegally because “drivers do not want to use their per diem to pay for parking”. The response completely ignores the fact that buses load and unload directly at venues because that is what their customers, the passengers, need and expect, not because “drivers do not want to use their per diem to pay for parking”. In fact it is quite striking that in the two page letter there is no reference to, or acknowledgement of, the passengers’ needs whatsoever.
OMCA President Doug Switzer responded to the letter by saying that OMCA will not accept this off-hand dismissal of the industry’s legitimate concerns and will continue to pressure the City to find a reasonable compromise solution that balances the needs of motor coach passengers, the industry, and other motorists.
*Mateirals originally published May 25, 2011.