Sparks could be set to fly at City Hall on Thursday as the city’s licensing and standards committee gears up to debate controversial new guidelines aimed at leveling the playing field between taxi cabs and ride sharing app Uber.
The 100 recommendations were released last week and include proposals to lower licensing fees for taxi drivers, having ride-sharing vehicles subject to annual inspections and a minimum level of insurance.
Uber has voiced it’s support for the recommendations, as has Mayor John Tory, however the taxi industry has come out against them saying that they create a two tier system that favours Uber.
It’s thought that taxi drivers will turn out in force at City Hall to make their voices heard, with the Toronto Star reporting that more than 80 people have signed up to speak at the meeting.
The meeting comes just one day after city council in Ottawa voted to create a dual licensing system with different rules for the taxi industry and alternative ride companies like Uber, effectively legalising the app.
The recommendations are set to go before Toronto City Council in early May.
Meanwhile, it would appear that the public’s appetite for Uber is not abating, with a new Forum Research Poll suggesting that use of the app in the city has almost doubled in the past year.
It also found that half of Toronto voters approve of the new regulations for Uber and taxis.