Uber and other ride-sharing companies have been given the greenlight to operate legally in Toronto after the city council voted to regulate such services. In response to the positive vote, Uber said that Canada’s largest city has decided to “embrace ride sharing,” although it is not entirely sure if the company will agree with the legislation.
Toronto mayor, John Tory, amended a previously rejected bylaw change to make it more appealing to the council yesterday, and it seems the tactic has worked. The city has accepted the bylaw and ride-hailing companies like Uber are now open to operate if they adhere to the rules in the legislation.
The company (Uber) has not said if it will do that yet and previously said it would leave Toronto entirely if it did not agree with regulations. The fact that the US firm praised Toronto’s vote is a strong indication that it is willing to work within the framework of the new legislation.
Doing so would mean that taxi drivers and UberX operative would need $2 million in liability auto insurance, much lower than the predicated $5-7 million. The base fare for UberX will increase 75 cents to $3.25 per ride, and all Uber vehicles must be inspected twice per year. The law is not entirely geared to Uber and now allows taxi companies to use surge-pricing, but can only do so for rides booked through an online app.
Taxi representatives have warned that they will not accept these kinds of regulations, believing Uber has been given an easy passage to regulation. The protests that have been held in Toronto over the last year are likely to continue.
For Uber though it is a victory, the company can now legally operate in the city, but whether it can bring drivers into line and get them to acquire sufficient auto insurance remains to be seen.