For the first time since its inception, Uber will be operating legally in the City of Toronto. Following another marathon session city council was able to find a consensus that in Mayor John Tory’s words, “Would allow the taxi cab industry to stay alive and thrive.”
After several hours of debate (even moments that nearly lead to punches in the stands) the Mayor introduced a 20-page motion with several new changes to the current TPC regulations. All the while, hundreds of taxi cab advocates emblazoned with yellow t-shirt booed and hissed the proposition.
Some of the changes include:
- All Uber drivers must have over 2 million dollars in insurance
- Background checks for Uber drivers will be submitted to the city
- No training is now required for Taxi drivers (including CPR)
- Surge Pricing is now available for Taxi cabs
— AM640 (@am640) May 3, 2016
The big changes for the Taxi cab industry are making ripples in some unexpected ways, BECK taxi Operations Manager Kristine Hubbard tells AM 640, “One simple fare, one simple route that’s the business model we built….we didn’t want to include Uber pricing.”
In addition to the surge changes many councilors decried other amendments including Janet Davis. She claims that with the changes license owners can charge exorbitant prices to lease out rights which would, “turn back the clock on regulations.”
The big surprise came from former Councilor Doug Ford, he was met with cheers and hugs after he entered the chamber wearing a yellow t-shirt to support the taxi cab industry.
Ford would later say simple, “Uber needs to go!” As several taxi cab drivers yelled back, “You’re going to be the next mayor Doug!”