Toronto is ready to regulate Uber
Toronto city council has voted to investigate regulating Uber and other ride-sharing services like it.
After a lengthy six-hour debate full of bluster and high emotions, a motion by Mayor John Tory to look at ways of regulating "alternate ground transportation providers" was adopted by city council.
It means there will be no changes to the way Uber operates in the immediate future, but restrictions may be in the works next year. The initial "drop rate" for taxis, however, will fall by a dollar to $3.25, effective Nov. 1.
New regulations may require Uber to provide proof of insurance, mechanical inspection results, and criminal background checks for their drivers in order to legally operate within the city.
Council also narrowly voted in favour of a motion by Cllr. Jim Karygiannis to "request" Uber to stop operating in Toronto until the new regulations are formalized, but it's extremely unlikely the company will listen.
Taxi drivers dressed in yellow t-shirts bearing the slogan "support legal taxis" packed the council chamber in protest at the idea of separate rules for Uber. They believe regulating ride-share vehicles separately from taxis would result in an unfair, two-tier system.
The report is due back in 2016.
Until then, as you were.
#Toronto will have a fair and modern taxi industry. And council will focus on the important work ahead. #topoliâ John Tory (@JohnTory) September 30, 2015
Follow Chris Bateman on Twitter at @chrisbateman.
Image: Mani/blogTO Flickr pool.
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