1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar

Council votes in favour of Tory’s motion to regulate Uber with new bylaws

CityNews | posted Thursday, Oct 1st, 2015

uberx-featured

Toronto city council has voted in favour of Mayor John Tory’s motion to begin the process of regulating ride-sharing service Uber by creating new bylaws, prompting shouts of “Shame!” from scores of cabbies and their supporters.

“Today we move forward to regulate Uber…It’s what people want and it will provide fairness our drivers deserve,” Tory tweeted. “Toronto will have a fair and modern taxi industry…”

The motion calls for city staff to report back on new regulations this spring. Council also voted in favour of asking Uber to stop operating in Toronto until that framework is submitted.

Uber Toronto GM, Ian Black, said that wouldn’t happen and Uber would continue to operate.

After months of grandstanding by both sides, the fate of Uber was the source of a heated debate Wednesday.

Taxi drivers heckled the head of Uber Toronto as he entered city hall and one Uber driver accused a cabbie of kicking him. Police eventually escorted the Uber driver to safer quarters.

Security officials told CityNews extra police had to be brought in after the scuffle.

In the chambers, Coun. Rob Ford asked Mayor John Tory if he had “ever done business or been associated with anyone from Uber?”

“Not in any way,” a stone-faced Tory replied.

It was the first time council has debated the ride-sharing service. Toronto, like many cities around the world, is struggling to monitor ride-sharing services like Uber, and Wednesday’s decision could have an enormous impact on other Canadian cities.

What else is on the agenda?

The Gardiner rehabilitation will likely be the second item on the agenda, with a public-private partnership up for debate.

The city is considering increasing parking fines to decrease congestion and improve traffic flow. The Public Works and Infrastructure Committee is recommending increasing the “no parking” fine from $40 to $50, and to more than double the fine for stopping on or over a sidewalk or footpath. The fine could go up from $60 to $150. City staff say it could bring in $5.52 million, unless drivers change their habits.

Coun. Mary Fragedakis is pushing for council to ask the Bank of Canada to have Canadian women on their currency. However, last week, Tory told the Toronto Sun he doesn’t want council to discuss items outside their purview, such as federal currency. He’s also opposed to debate about Hydro One, a provincial agency.

Tory’s executive committee is recommending a local settlement program for Syrian refugees, similar to what was implemented after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Tory is also privately supporting a family of refugees.

Click here to see the full meeting agenda.

What is the problem with Uber?

There are concerns the service is skirting local bylaws by using a mobile app to charge riders.

The UberX service connects private citizens, using their own vehicles, with prospective passengers looking for a ride. Other Uber services connect passengers with licensed cab drivers.

UberX, which has regular drivers transporting people in their private cars, doesn’t have commercial licenses and therefore lack the regulation and oversight of traditional taxi companies. Taxi companies have argued that this puts passenger safety in jeopardy while simultaneously driving traditional cabbies out of business.

Comments

  • JohnTaylor says:

    John Tory hit the nail on the head. “It’s what people want”. The taxi business has neglected modernization for years. The result is that someone else did not. Uber 2 – Oldskool taxi 0

Leave a Comment Below

Sign in to comment.

All fields are required.

Want to embed media into your comment? Just paste in a URL in a separate paragraph to the page where you would normally view the media (like on YouTube) and it will automatically be embedded into your comment.