The city of Hamilton is in a juxtaposition state when it comes to Uber. The city is still drafting its bylaw to adopt the ride-sharing service, but in the meantime is deciding what to do with the Uber drivers operating illegally and without insurance.
While the city was aggressively charging Uber drivers, that practice was too costly and has ceased. Hamilton city councilors voted to outlaw any Uber driver without commercial insurance, but since then Ontario has said through it insurance regulator that insurance from Intact Financial Corp. is approved province wide.
That means Uber drivers in Hamilton can have auto insurance that does not go against city regulations. In one aspect, this saves the city one headache. The regulations created by a new bylaw would have had to state auto insurance stipulations. However, Ontario stepped in first and now Hamilton can just follow suit.
All that really remains is whether the province can draw a bylaw that is fair for ride-sharing companies and the traditional taxi industry. Parity is unlikely, but a proposal of-hailing companies with more than 50 drivers getting an annual licensing fee of $50,000, plus a $20,000 dispatching fee, is a start.
The finished bylaw is expected to be presented to the council this fall. Other stipulations would mirror similar legislation in other municipalities, such as police checks for Uber drivers and vehicle inspections.