Hamilton City councillors have approved regulations for Uber and other ride-sharing companies to operate in the city. Now the new rules will be put before the council for a vote to decide if the licensing standards will be put in place.
Like in most other major Canadian regions, Uber has been operating in Hamilton illegally and unregulated, since the company arrived in July 2015. Under the new regulations, the city would adopt Uber, but the company will need to pay $50,000 per year to operate and charge six cents per trip that will go to the city.
Additionally, the company must pay $20,000 per year in exchange for not being forced to install video cameras within the vehicle and for not providing accessible services for customers. For Uber drivers, they must post visible evidence that they are Uber operatives, which will hinder them from picking up cash fares.
In a bid to appease cabbies, Hamilton has also decreased the driver fee from $194 to $100 annually. This is unlikely to be sufficient for an industry that says it has been hit hard by Uber’s illegal operations in the city.
Uber Canada says they commend the committee members, the Mayor and city staff for supporting the new bylaw. “This is an important first step towards Hamilton joining other Canadian jurisdictions like Niagara Region, Toronto, Waterloo Region, Calgary, Ottawa and Edmonton in adopting a progressive regulatory framework that embraces ridesharing,” said Uber spokesperson Susie Heath. “The draft bylaw includes a framework that is good for riders, good for drivers, and will help foster greater choice in transportation options in Hamilton.”