It’s no secret the relationship between Toronto cabbies and Uber drivers is a tense one.
Cab drivers have long said Uber is luring away customers and cutting into their profits, and because Uber doesn’t have to abide by the same rules, the ride-share has an unfair advantage
The matter was put to council earlier this summer, and now a city staff report, which reviewed the existing bylaws, has been released which seeks to level the playing field between the two.
The main recommendations made by the Municipal Licensing and Standards Division includes dropping the base taxi fee by $1, from $4.25 to $3.25 and the creation of a new licensing category to be known as the Transportation Network Companies.
This would require drivers to pay annual permit fees, consent to background checks and have commercial liability insurance.
The report states that there is a “consensus that Uber’s operations are having a negative impact on regulated taxicabs and limousines”, but acknowledges public support for the ride sharing service, adding that “people should be able to choose whether they want to use Uber or licensed taxicabs.”
Meanwhile City Councillor and vocal Uber opponent Jim Karygiannis has spoken out against the recommendations made in the report.
In a statement issued on Wednesday morning following the reports release, Karygiannis maintained that the proposals ”will allow Uber to continue operating as it has, with no respect for laws, rules and regulation”.
He concluded that “It is time for Uber to be fully regulated as a Taxi Brokerage firm or leave Toronto.”