While Ottawa taxi dispatchers are still fighting Uber, there is a good chance that the city will decide to amend bylaws to accommodate the ride-sharing company. A report coming March 31 will give an indication whether the council is willing to adopt Uber and then an April 7 community and protective services committee meeting will debate a change to the bylaw.
Despite taxi union protestations, Uber is likely to be accepted into an amended bylaw, and could become legal in the city if the company agrees to changes in the law.
The taxi industry has said that it will fight fire with fire and one dispatch company is even working on creating an application that would directly rival Uber’s service. Coventry Connections president and CEO Hanif Patni confirmed a partnership with eCab, a European based provider of a taxi-app that has been launched in Ottawa.
While not quite as dedicated as Uber, the app lets users book a cab through Covenrty Connection’s Blueline and Capital fleets. Users can then track the cab, pay for the fare via a card transaction if they choose, and rate the experience.
“There’s no question that Uber has educated the public on an alternative way of booking… (people) like the technology part, and we’re saying you know what? We’ve got that technology,” Patni said.
“I think this new app is much better than (Uber)… people were talking about the technology before but starting today our companies have better technology than Uber so there is no reason for people to call Uber anymore,” Singh said.
“That’s what the thinking is, that we’ll be able to get some money back from Uber.”