Consumers have generally been in support of Uber as the ride-sharing company has expanded controversially around Canada. However, the general public does not believe the company should have a free passage and a survey* reveals most think the UberX service should be regulated in the same way as the traditional taxi industry.
A poll and report from the Angus Reid Institute shows that over two thirds of all those asked think that Uber should be regulated, with 63 per cent sharing that view. The remaining 37 per cent think the company should be allowed to continue in its current unregulated state, which has caused controversy around the country.
The Angus Reid Institute says “a majority in every region” support regulations placed on Uber, but only one in six (17 per cent) think the service should be banned in their city.
Taxi drivers have been the most opposed group to Uber’s expansion in Canada, seeing the U.S. based company as a threat on the industry. Unions say that Uber bypasses the licensing cost and time it takes to become a taxi driver, and as a consequence is unfair competition. City and provincial governments have largely agreed, with some trying to ban Uber and most coming around to the fact that viable regulations need to be created.
The problem is creating regulations that Uber will pay attention to and that will also keep the taxi industry happy. Mooted ideas include a compensation tax that comes off every fare and is passed back to taxi drivers, while others are a minimum fare on Uber and a stricter path to becoming an UberX driver.
Edmonton legalized Uber last month with a set of regulations that the company accepted, although taxi drivers and their representatives remained unimpressed. Uber, which connects passengers with freelancing drivers, said this week that it wants to work with local governments to find a solution to regulation sticking points.
*The Angus Reid Institute survey was conducted between Jan. 27-31 and Feb. 10-11, using random samples of 1,503 and 1,505 Canadian adults who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. Probability samples of these sizes would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.