Cities across Canada have been accused by taxi associations that they allowed Uber to bully them into creating favorable regulations to legalize ride-sharing. The manager who spearheaded Toronto’s adoption of the company has said that she did not cower to Uber’s demands and did not even negotiate with the US-based company.
Initially, Canadian municipalities were against Uber, going as far as to seek bans for the company and bring legal action against drivers. However, 2016 has seen a marked shift where authorities are now drafting bylaws to accommodate ride-sharing companies. Many critics of Uber have said municipalities backpedaled and then gave in too easily to Uber’s demands in the regulation process.
Tracey Cook, Toronto’s executive director of licensing and standards says she did not give in to Uber or allow the company to bully the city. She insists all the regulations were created to keep customers safe, while also giving them more choice.
Speaking to CBC News’s Metro Morning radio program, Cook said, “they (Uber) certainly didn’t bully me around.”
Toronto’s regulations also changed laws for taxi drivers, which the city says gives the industry a clearer path to compete with Uber:
- Taxi drivers will no longer have to take city-run training programs, or training for CPR or first-aid.
- Taxis and PTC vehicles must undergo regular inspections.
- UberX, or any other PTC-licensed vehicle, will be required to have a “sign, decal emblem, symbol or number” displaying the logo or name of the company.
- UberX trips will be more expensive, with 30 cents added per trip to each fare to be remitted to the city.
- Uber and other PTCs must maintain a $3.25 minimum fare but can allow for “surge pricing” when the service is busy. Taxis can also use “surge pricing,” but only for rides booked via an app.
- PTCs must have the same level of insurance as taxis, with a minimum of $2 million liability. A PTC is also required to provide confirmation that the insurance company has been advised the driver intends to carry paying passengers.