Mississauga is the latest Canadian city to get tough with Uber and other ride-sharing companies over regulations. The city has mooted a pilot test program for ride-sharing, but warned Uber drivers that they must cease operations before Wednesday (May 18) or the city will pull the plug on the program.
It is unclear at the time of writing (May 19) if Uber adhered to the stipulation, but the city is threatening to nix any hope the company has of becoming legal in Mississauga if it did not.
“They responded, which I felt was a sign of progress and a show of good will,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie, after Wednesday’s council meeting, referencing a letter that Uber sent to the city saying it was willing to cooperate.
Mississauga has been through a rollercoaster with Uber, initially rejecting the company outright and issuing suspension orders against Uber drivers. The city then moved towards voting for regulations, but said that the company would have to work to the same rules as traditional taxi drivers. The pilot program is going to let the city see how Uber can work under these constraints, and is open to allow new rules if needed.
While Uber has consumer and council support, there are some members who are sympathetic to the taxi industry, which has been a long-time critic of Uber.
“I don’t like Uber, I don’t want them,” Said Councillor Carolyn Parrish.
Uber spokesperson, Susie Heath, told the Star that the company is already entrenched in Mississauga, but did not say if Uber would leave the city. She confirmed Uber has some 5,000 drivers already in the city, and 100,000 rides in the service per day.
“That’s why we are committed to working with Mississauga City Council and staff and have requested an earlier date for recommendations on the framework for a pilot program.”