Uber has applauded the London City council for the amendments it made to its taxi regulations. The tweak to the bylaw brings ride-sharing companies like Uber under the city’s regulations. App-based companies that offer a service for passengers to connect with drivers are called transportation network companies.
The council approved the changes on Tuesday, but not without opposition from some politicians, including councilors Bill Armstrong and Josh Morgan. Deputy mayor Paul Hubert also voiced his concerns about Uber being introduced into London.
Uber has not said if its plans to roll out legally in the city, but the fact the company has welcomed the decision means that Uber will likely be on London’s streets in a legal capacity soon.
“It’s good,” Chris Schafer of Uber Canada said after the vote. “We’re moving forward with recommendations for a bylaw that lines up well with what other Ontario cities (have done).”
Under the new regulations, price surging has been allowed for the busiest times, allowing the city-standard $3.50 to be raised during these periods. However, this is only allowed for app-based services because customers know how much they pay beforehand. This was met with criticism by some councilors who believe this gives Uber an unfair advantage over traditional cabbies.
Hubert is worried that London has let Uber choose which third party conducts its driver criminal record checks, with the job going to Coburg Police Force.
“It puzzles me that we’re using the record check service that’s requested by Uber,” Hubert said.
The city confirmed the updated taxi bylaw that would regulate Uber and other firms like it will be in place by March 2017.