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Uber car service now available in Toronto

Posted by Tim / March 6, 2012

Uber TorontoUber has arrived in Toronto. In a somewhat surprising move, the San Francisco-based car service has picked Toronto as its second international location. This follows earlier expansion to Paris late last year and operations in seven US cities. While there's no official word from the company, last month Toronto popped up as a secret destination on the Uber web site and tweets have been flying fast and furiously over at the Uber Toronto Twitter feed. On Sunday, they made somewhat of a splash driving VIPs and volunteers to and from the Toronto Underground Market.

For those unfamiliar, Uber operates similarly to Toronto-born service Winston (which incidentally modeled itself after Uber) which has a few months head start on its now well-funded US competitor. Anyone with a credit card can create an Uber account via the company's web site, iPhone or Android apps and call for car service to and from the airport or anywhere around the city.

Like Winston, rates are typically more expensive than a cab but less than the cost of limo service. There's a $15 minimum and rates currently posted to the Uber web site indicate a flat fee of $65 from anywhere in Toronto to Pearson and $78 the other way. Tax and tip are included as once you create an Uber account all rides (transactions) are processed digitally. More details (and rates) can be found here.



matts / March 6, 2012 at 11:14 am
To the author: How are their Pearson rates LESS than limo service?
realg / March 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm
i think they are comparing to stretch limo rates because $65 and 78$ is def more than regular limo taxies.
Phil / March 6, 2012 at 01:34 pm
Maybe I'm missing something really obvious but how does this differ from any other private car service in Toronto?
Scott / March 6, 2012 at 01:54 pm
They could be comparing town car rates to the airport which Yonge/ Bloor to YYZ is $55 on the zonal chart
Josca / March 6, 2012 at 01:58 pm
Seriously, I don't understand the appeal, if it's not price. Is it because the cars are nicer and you can use your smartphone?
Matt / March 6, 2012 at 03:24 pm
I've been using Uber for awhile now and it's awesome! The entire process from requesting a car in app to arriving at my location is first class all the way. Beats a cab any day of the week. Uber delivers. Do it! You'll never go back.
Krista / March 6, 2012 at 03:28 pm
Thanks so much for including us in the story! We welcome the competition from the South-

Ps: We'll have some big news for you soon :)
Mike replying to a comment from Josca / March 6, 2012 at 05:16 pm
I think being able to track ETA with an exact location and deal with the payment through the app to be pretty sweet, personally. Also they've been handing out a lot of credits through their twitter which I also can't complain about.
Rob / March 6, 2012 at 06:52 pm
This makes no sense to me. I can call the local "limo" service via speeddial and get a car ASAP, pay with ease with my credit card. Maybe they'll develop an app?

Where's the extra value?
Hendrix / March 6, 2012 at 08:57 pm
So do these drivers have cab licenses? Are they just Toronto cabbies who wok for Über?
Jimmy Dean / March 6, 2012 at 09:02 pm
Or you could just use that taxi now app that is free and works like a charm in Toronto. Apparently it's a bc company but the app totally works well at finding nearby cabs in Toronto. I'm not interested in inputting my credit card in order to see what available cars are in the area.
Agence / March 6, 2012 at 09:44 pm
What I would really like is greener taxis. Smaller, hybrid cars. AND clean and new. Lincoln Town Cars are really behind the times.
jess / March 6, 2012 at 10:13 pm
Hmm... cabs are already too expensive for me to take more than once in awhile, so it's hard for me to see the appeal of this service.
Phil / March 6, 2012 at 11:46 pm
Yeah, I *really* don't get this at all. It's a lot more expensive than a cab plus I have to wait for it. With a cab I can walk to the curb anytime of the day during any day of the week and hail one.

If I need a private car service I can pre-schedule one (which you can't do with Uber) and then have it arrive right when I want and have everything billed to my credit card.

I'm really not understanding this.
w-hat replying to a comment from Phil / March 7, 2012 at 07:32 am
You'd get it if you travelled for business at all. No one wants to take a jacked up cab to the airport when you can relax in a nice, clean, neutral smelling town car. It also helps that the business is picking up the tab.
Phil replying to a comment from w-hat / March 7, 2012 at 08:37 am
I work in banking so I travel for business all the time.

Everyone takes cabs to the airport and when travelling around town to meetings. We have to be accountable for our expenses, now moreso than ever. My boss would be all over everyones' case if we were taking private cars to go out to the airport or to client meetings.

We get cab chits so the company picks up the tab for that too.

The only time the expense of a private car could be justified would be if we were going out to a dinner with clients or doing something with members of the executive or the board. In that case we'll just use one of our company cars or pre-schedule a ride with a limo service that allows pre-scheduling.

I don't know anyone who could justify to their boss the expense of using a private car service for everyday use because they "didn't like taking cabs".
Jakob replying to a comment from w-hat / March 7, 2012 at 08:47 am
@w-hat, I've travelled for business to the airport a couple of times, and had no issue taking a cab there. It's definitely more of a status thing than a utility / "actually pays off" benefit. Maybe as a software developer I'm not traveling seriously enough? :P

If the cost of a limo (roughly $45 to the airport, plus tips) wasn't comparable to regular taxis anyways, I'd never even think of taking a limo. People who can't sit on a less-than-luxurious car seat for just half an hour are beyond me.
Krista / March 7, 2012 at 09:32 am
Awesome conversation here!
I'm one of the co-founders of HireWinston. I can't speak for Uber, but can provide some insight since our service is similar. HireWinston launched out of Toronto this fall and we built it specifically for the business traveller (we're launching a Blackberry app, pre-scheduled trips, Outlook Calendar integration, charge-code entry, and our sedans are a fair bit cheaper than Uber's).

We've found that companies are happy to pay a little more for the service than taxis because of the visibility it gives them into their car service expenses. Instead of hand written chits and taxi receipts that can be abused by drivers and employees, our receipts include a detailed, accurate, GPS verified record of the transaction. Companies are actually approaching us and encouraging their employees to use HrieWinston because of the control and visibility it gives them.

(Easy booking, real-time driver location tracking, premium ride, and hands-free payment are just icing on the cake)!

JC / March 7, 2012 at 10:15 am
i love uber!
scott d / March 7, 2012 at 11:39 am
I dont really understand the concept as one can already use airport limos as a livery service, and there already are car services in the GTA. I would agree with the poster who suggested that Town cars are a bit behind the time; there are lots of smaller options. I take a limo to the airport instead of taxi's because I dont trust taxi's on highways and I dont want the risk of a driver reeking of BO or Axe.
Ratpick replying to a comment from Jakob / March 7, 2012 at 03:59 pm
"People who can't sit on a less-than-luxurious car seat for just half an hour are beyond me."

Most Toronto cabbies don't take pride in their cabs or their driving, sadly.
Tim Lundin / March 8, 2012 at 10:17 pm
For $10 off your first ride, use this code when registering: YV7LF
Car Service / March 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm
i learn by that blog This makes no sense to me. I can call the local "limo" service via speeddial and get a car ASAP, pay with ease with my credit card,
Tom / March 14, 2012 at 01:48 pm
Saying booking a local car service or hailing a cab is as easy as using Uber is like when my mom used to say it was just as easy to rent a movie from Blockbuster as Itunes.

Uber is essentially an upscale high tech taxi service that is available on demand without having to call and talk to anyone or have the driver call trying to find your address. It also includes the tip, which definitely closes the gap on taxi fares, and you don't have to handle cash or hope for a cab that accepts cards either, it bills your card automatically with your expenses tracked on your account with them.

I hope they do well in Toronto because I hate trying to hail a cab on Queen street at 2am or pre-booking a car to the Airport when I'm not sure exactly when I'm going to be ready. Or realizing I have no cash on me when I need a taxi, etc...
brent / April 22, 2012 at 10:07 pm
hi guys there town car limo to airport $55 no matter when you call from downtown with in 10minute black town car. you guys fine out 467limo this number best car service in Canada

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Vince Carter / July 13, 2012 at 02:20 pm
Coupon code for new Toronto users: ubertdot. Gets you a free $10 driving credit!
Olga / August 22, 2012 at 01:35 pm
Maybe our mayor Ford could use this service, since he's too busy reading his speeches while driving.
Akbar / September 5, 2012 at 11:39 am
I am a cab driver working for uber , it's amazing & uber rocks.
Toronto car service / September 10, 2012 at 04:07 pm
The above blog get the information about the car services in Toronto as well as help the outer person.
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AirportlimousineToronto / May 18, 2013 at 04:48 am
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Kay Matthews / July 17, 2013 at 05:16 pm
I would never use you after what you did during the flood in Toronto, you are jerks playing on the misfortune of others by raising the prices in times of need. A pox on your and your company.
Simon Tarses / July 17, 2013 at 05:45 pm
It's only for stupid people who needs "apps" anyways.
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