Uber Arrives in Toronto

Toronto has been working under the vehicle-for-hire bylaw has been in operation since last Friday, allowing ride-sharing companies like Uber to operate in the city legally. However, while legal and regulatory pathways have been cleared, Uber continues to be locked in a war with taxi drivers.

Passed on May 3, Bill 571 has finally been put into actions. The Private Transportation Company (PTC) category is a new licensing segment that gives ride-sharing companies the ability to operate in Toronto.

The bill was not just created to help Uber reach the city legally, but also to give taxi drivers more freedom through reforms.

Taxi drivers now get:

  • 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.

Uber has welcomed the changes and will now operate legally in the city for the first time. Intact Insurance offers ride-sharing companies an auto insurance solution for drivers. The product was launched at the beginning of July throughout Ontario.

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