Uber is continuing to push itself in the Canadian market and is urging cities around the country to work with the company to find regulations to make the UberX service legal. Speaking to Global News, Uber Canada’s General Manager, Ian Black, said that the company has huge economic benefits for cities and local governments should see the adoption of ride-sharing as worthwhile goal.
Black says that the company is not going to leave Canada, it is here to stay, although he said cities should move quicker to regulate the company and reap the economic rewards. Interestingly, he also mentioned that the company understands the challenges faced by local authorities who must juggle traditional taxi services with finding ways to regulate the Uber service. He also added that Uber realizes the reasons why the taxi industry is against the company, but said the taxi industry is a monopoly that needs competition.
“But we can’t confuse that with the issue that the taxi industry is a monopoly. And monopoly drives up prices for consumers, it drives down earnings for drivers, and it creates profits for the brokerages and the license holders.”
Taxi drivers have been Uber’s most potent opposition, protesting the company and providing problems for Uber’s expansion around Canada. Cities are struggling to find ways to meet Uber halfway and find regulations that the city can accept and that Uber is willing to work with. In some instances the company has argued that it should not be regulated as a taxi service as it is actually a tech company. The UberX service works by a passenger using a smartphone app to connect with nearby freelance drivers.
Edmonton broke new ground in Canada by legalizing the UberX service in the city, getting Uber to agree with a minimum far regulation, auto insurance stipulations, and background checks for all drivers. Black cited this agreement as proof that Uber is willing to play be the rules, while he also pointed to other regions around the world where Uber operates legally. Aviva Canada also aided Uber’s expansion plans with the announcement of Canada’s first ever ride-sharing specific auto insurance policy, although the insurance provider does not endorse Uber.
“Over 70 jurisdictions around the world have already regulated ride sharing, but Edmonton has been the first to do it in Canada,” Black explained. “So the model put forward by Edmonton is a very good one. It’s a very workable one.”
SOURCE: Global News