Toronto Mayor, John Tory, has put forward the proposed legislation that would see Uber and other ride-sharing companies adopted in the city. Tory has amended the drafted bylaw with his own recommendations, which he thinks will be enough to see the legislation passed by the council, which will vote on the proposals.
City staff originally drew up a controversial set of regulations that were not warmly welcomed by Uber or the taxi industry, the draft law was scuppered by the Licensing and Standards Committee. The idea of a two-tiered licensing system that would separate Uber and the taxi industry was criticized from most angles.
Tory, speaking at a Tuesday council meeting, moved a motion to look at many of the rejected regulations again and also discuss changes to guidelines. One of those changes would be a minimum UberX fare of $3.25, instead of $2.50, while Tory is also pushing for taxi companies to be able to initiate their own price surging models, similar to those employed by Uber.
“I believe this motion represents the best possible way to do the two things I have talked about, which is to regulate these companies that have come into the marketplace and to make sure that the taxi industry can survive and thrive going forward,” Tory said Tuesday while announcing his amended motion.
Some of the Mayor’s other proposals include enforcing Uber drivers to have winter tires through December 1 to March 15, the winter season. Aiming to curtail fears that Uber will not be policed, Tory is pushing for Uber drivers to have to fulfill numerous checks, such as submitting copies of their driver’s license, vehicle inspection reports, and auto insurance proof.
“Cabs drivers, for example, have the right to pick up fares on the street. People can hail a cab on the street, which other participants in the ground transportation industry can’t and so that is not equal either and they (cab drivers) don’t want to give that up,” Tory said.
“It is one of those things where these are different businesses but the objective remains the same — to have safe transportation on the ground for people who want it to give them a choice in that ground transportation and to make sure that the competition is fairly regulated.”