Ottawa is moving very close to adopting Uber within the nation’s capital. Private Transporation companies like the ride-hailing company could be legal in Ottawa on Friday. As we have seen in other cities, taxi drivers are protesting the development.
Work-for-hire regulations through a new bylaw have actually been passed in Ottawa since the spring. The city was the first in Ontario to pass in favor of Uber and other such companies. Like other municipalities, the new laws focus on integrating Uber into the city by changing taxi laws to accommodate them. Also, the laws make regulations easier for traditional taxi drivers, at least that was the aim.
The regulation rules become effective on Sept. 30 (this Friday), which means Uber and other companies can theoretically operate legally from then. However, those companies must secure an operating license first.
A major hurdle blocking Uber has already fallen. Intact Insurance announced in July that it was introducing an auto insurance solution for ride-sharing drivers in Ontario. The product is supported by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) and is available now.
Some cab drivers, especially those who own their plate, see Uber as a damaging threat and will attempt to stop the company’s expansion in Ottawa. However, other drivers are more open to working for the company. Speaking to CBC News, Asim Puri is a cabbie who rents his plate and sees merit in working for Uber.
“For a lot of the drivers it’s very hard. They have a mortgage, they have to feed their families. Two or three guys I know already quit and they started driving Uber, because here they have to pay a lot of fees, lot of expenses,” says Puri.
“But we don’t know the future. What’s going to happen after the 30th? Maybe [the] government is going to open up accounts with Uber?” said Puri.