Toronto has already issued bylaw regulations for Uber and other ride-sharing companies. However, as we wrote last week, the company is still operating unregulated as the city drags its feet over licensing. Taxi companies are incensed and the United Taxi Association says drivers will start taking job action soon in protest.
Following the announcement of the taxi driver plan, Toronto has now said it will begin screening and licensing Uber drivers before the end of August. Doing so would bring to a close over a year of legal wrangling that started with the city trying to band Uber outright. Since then the city voted to regulate sharing companies (July 15) and there are even auto insurance policies in place for drivers.
In other words, Uber is ready to operate legally in the city, but still isn’t. While taxi associations are against the bylaw, they prefer some regulations to none at all.
Paul Sekhon, of the United Taxi Workers Association — that represents 3,500 drivers in the GTA — told CBC News that the job action will begin on August 17 at 7 a.m. The association wants the city to start enforcing regulation laws on Uber drivers, such as making them get the new private transportation company license and have legitimate auto insurance.
Sekhon says that Uber is not complying, but Tracey Cook, executive director of Toronto’s municipal licensing and standards division says that Uber is complying. She says the company has provided all documentation required, suggesting that the delay in licensing is solely at the feet of the city.
“Procedural and electronic changes to the bylaw take time,” she wrote in an email to CBC.