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Uber launches taxi service in Toronto

Posted by Tim / August 31, 2012

Uber Taxi TorontoJust a day after we mentioned that Hailo has expanded to Toronto and plans to launch in the next few weeks, Uber has seemingly beat them to the punch and this afternoon will begin offering taxi service in Toronto. Yes, Uber customers will now have the ability to select taxis in addition to the black towncar and SUV options currently available.

This is the second city (following Chicago's lead) where Uber has expanded their offerings to include taxis. Like Hailo, Uber is working directly with taxi drivers (not local cab companies) and providing iPhones, training and other incentives to get them involved in the program.

Uber isn't disclosing the number of cabs in their fleet to-date, but Uber Toronto General Manager Andrew MacDonald assures me Uber "will always have enough drivers on the system to be a reliable and high quality option for customers."

I asked MacDonald if Uber would prohibit drivers from also working with Hailo and he gave me a cryptic response stating that "we think that our drivers will do so well supplementing their income with Uber, that they won't want to use any other product."

Sounds to me like a two-horse, er, smartphone race to sign up cabbies in Toronto. Either way, looks like we the taxi-seeking public will be the big winners. All of a sudden, taking a taxi in Toronto will never be the same.



Larry / August 31, 2012 at 11:23 am
Well that's funny, because this Global Toronto article says you're not licensed by the city (and this was confirmed in a call with a city of Toronto employee):
Eric / August 31, 2012 at 11:34 am
wow... just wow.
Robert Johnson / August 31, 2012 at 01:23 pm
And Napster was just a "file sharing" site
Eric / August 31, 2012 at 01:24 pm
Hi Lucas,

I think it's great that you guys are active in the blogs and answering customer's concerns.

I wanted to clarify that this service is available with your Android app too? If so you should really advertise that more since Android has a much larger market share than iPhone. There isn't a single image on your website of an Android phone and I only realized you had an app by looking in the small text at the bottom of the page.
KB / August 31, 2012 at 03:04 pm
I'm with EJ on this one.

If you got a problem then don't use the service and let the rest of us enjoy.
Nice / August 31, 2012 at 03:20 pm
Unlicensed? Hah, deleting the app now.
Dan replying to a comment from Nice / August 31, 2012 at 04:26 pm
You're going to believe what some random chump says?
Ray / August 31, 2012 at 04:48 pm
I'm with Nice and Jim Bell. Sketchy operation. App deleted.
Agence / August 31, 2012 at 06:05 pm
The taxi companies would be better inspired to improve the quality of their services than to hire blog trolls to discredit a new company that is finally innovating in this very stale marketplace.
Matts / August 31, 2012 at 06:27 pm
See you here in a year, y'all - we'll know by then who was right and who was wrong.
Kyle / August 31, 2012 at 07:25 pm
Taxi users: I'm sure Jim Bell of Diamond Taxi (416-366-6868). Everyone knows that Toronto's taxi companies provide excellent service, in clean cars, at a reasonable rate, while providing drivers with a fare wage - oh wait - none of those things are true... where do I download that app again. I urge everyone to call Diamond Taxi when then need a cab - just don't worry about being there when the Diamond Taxi cab arrives.
Matts replying to a comment from Kyle / August 31, 2012 at 10:08 pm
Please Kyle, no more drunk posting.
Alex / September 1, 2012 at 12:02 am
this is great! Now the rates are a bit cheaper and the service is still that much better than an ordinary cab. and if you want a classier car, go right ahead and get a black car no problem.
Fred / September 1, 2012 at 01:00 pm
Larry, you seem to have some sort of agenda based on your posting style. Perhaps you should disclose what your interest is in this situation and what, if any, your affiliation with an established transportation company is.
Ray / September 2, 2012 at 09:52 pm
lively discussion. best post goes to Tracie IMO.
hair vitamins / September 3, 2012 at 08:20 pm
I always spent my half an hour to read this webpage's content every day along with a cup of coffee.
Robert Johnson / September 4, 2012 at 01:54 pm
Legal cab companies are generally heavily regulated especially so in large cities. Legal Cab companies find themselves bending over backwards to comply with the regulations and more specifically the regulatory officials. It drives us crazy watching our drivers get suspended for something minor like not completely filling out a manifest, or failing to notify the Inspector of the outcome of a traffic ticket. It drives us crazy to see vehicles put out of service because of paint chips to the front bumper or some other minor triviality that does not affect passenger safety or comfort. It drives us so crazy to know that we get the white glove treatment (and punishment that go along with it) while we watch illegal cab companies pop up and operate with impunity and none of the regulatory oversight we subject ourselves to in order to meet the demands of the general public. Sure, it'd be nice to cut all the corners and charge whatever we like and get whatever insurance we feel comfortable with and just shrug our shoulders and say "meh, good is good enough" but we can't. We aren't the "all powerful taxi lobby" we are concerned legal legitimate operators watching our business get threatened by a large "software company" who thumbs their nose at local regulation with a "try and stop us" attitude.
Ashley / September 5, 2012 at 02:33 pm
So when the service is poor enough that it doesn't warrant a tip, why should they automatically get a gratuity?
mike / September 6, 2012 at 01:53 pm
totally agree! Thanks for the code!
Michael nightingale / September 6, 2012 at 05:20 pm
Love the service. Couldn't be happier that I have the option to choose my car. Different options for different occasions is a wonderful thing to have. Great work through and through
jumping exercises / September 6, 2012 at 11:15 pm
Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you
wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics
to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is fantastic
blog. An excellent read. I will definitely be back.
SN / September 26, 2012 at 10:23 pm
These new companies would be nice revolution in taxi industry. I hope they will get there space by doing hard work.
Good luck.
SK / October 3, 2012 at 05:01 am
My companies taxi app wishes to be part of the solution not create more problems. We will work with Toronto's Municple licensing to get our App pre-approved BEFORE we build it. We are asking Torontonians what features in an app you want and dont want. You can even help us name the new app. If you want to help create Toronto's best taxi App. Copy and paste the link below and fill out the survey. All particpants are entered in a draw to win an IPHONE 5. Help us make Toronto's best Taxi App a reality.
toronto taxi / October 13, 2012 at 10:37 am
Good to have competition in Toronto taxi industry we might be able to get better quality service
taxi service mn / November 16, 2012 at 11:34 am
Edina taxi is cab company specializing in rides to the MSP International Airport. It offers taxi service in Edina, MN.
ihsan / November 23, 2012 at 05:35 am
@muchacho buddy dont you think you are trying to underestimate the drivers more than clearing your shitty point they work so much harder than you guys so try to respect buddy
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Jack / August 4, 2013 at 06:35 pm
I've used it works great it's just a different way to get a cab. I love it. Critics are probably trolls working for cab companies. This is the way of the future
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