Mississauga is the latest Canadian city to take a stab at finding regulations for the UberX ride-sharing company, and arguably it has a better chance of adopting Uber than most. However, modelling a new bylaw off a similar one launched in Calgary last week could see Uber opt against operating in Mississauga entirely.
Uber has found it tough in Canada during 2016, with the company forced to pull out of several markets as it was unwilling to work with regulations aimed at adopting the UberX service. Alberta has given Uber plenty of problems over the last week, ending any hopes the company has of being legal in Edmonton by March 1.
The province was unwilling to amend bylaws to allow Uber drivers to have auto insurance, saying it will not make a decision until early in the summer. Edmonton has voted to legalize Uber, but without backing from the province the company could be forced to leave Alberta entirely. Calgary created a new bylaw that the city says is welcoming to Uber, but the company said the regulations were “unworkable” and said it would leave the city.
Mississauga says it will have a March 2 meeting in the hope of creating an “equal regulation” policy that would allow Uber to work in the city, but also not provide unfair competition to the traditional taxi service. However, the city is planning to model its bylaw off the one created in Calgary, the set of regulations that ultimately scared Uber off.
The law would mean Uber drivers required to get the same police checks and training as traditional taxi operatives, while they would also have to prove fluency in English and submit to a vehicle inspection every six months. Lastly, Uber drivers will need to have auto insurance, a stumbling block that will scupper the company’s legalization in Edmonton.
However, Mississauga has an ace up its sleeve in the form of Aviva Canada’s ride-sharing auto insurance policy, which has been launched in Ontario. This coverage is the first of its kind in Canada, so drivers in Mississauga will be able to provide the city with the auto insurance policy it demands.
Likely to be watching closely is the city of Toronto, which voted to regulate Uber last year, but has not yet drawn up bylaws.