Toronto taxi drivers stage protest at East York Civic Centre
Toronto taxi drivers staged a demonstration in front of the licensing and standards office at the East York Civic Centre on Wednesday to protest the city’s lack of movement and enforcement on the ridesharing company Uber.
Until every single Uber driver is registered with the city, that their insurance is registered with the city, that they have inspections registered with the city, until every single vehicle has been registered, we’re not going to say it’s a level playing field,” said Sam Moini of the Fleet Operators Association.
The protest comes a day after officials announced that a transportation licence has been issued to Uber which now places it under the city’s new vehicle-for-hire bylaw.
“We’re kind of fed up. We want to make sure the bylaws are enforced just as strictly as they are enforced on us. I think the pressure the taxi industry put definitely helped,” Moini said.
With the new licence, Toronto will begin to screen and issue private transportation company (PTC) driver licences to people who drive for UberX.
Officials will also conduct criminal background checks, review driver abstracts, check for vehicle inspection certificates and insurance.
Other changes under the bylaw include increased flexibility for cab owners, ability to own more than one cab, the ability for cab companies to set fares for trips booked in advance and lower annual licensing fees.
“The taxi industry is enforced all the time, strictly, and we expect Uber and Uber drivers and all PTC companies and drivers to be enforced just as the taxi industry is,” said Moini.
***With files from Nick Westoll