Uber launches taxi service in Toronto
Just 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.