uber toronto

Uber says prices and wait times in Toronto are going up

Uber is saying Toronto should expect to pay more money and wait longer for their rides in the city. 

The expensive rides are coming due to a recent city council vote to freeze any incoming licenses for drivers. 

Council voted on Nov. 10 to stop issuing new licenses until drivers are able to complete mandatory in-person road training. 

In January 2020, the city passed a Vehicle-For-Hire bylaw, which would make it mandatory for drivers to complete a city-approved training program. It covers topics including safe driving, driving in an urban environment, anti-racism and sensitivity.

However, a full implementation of the training was delayed due to lockdown restrictions in the following months. 

Since the bylaw passed, more than 40,000 vehicle-for-hire licenses were issued without proper training, which the city says was a temporary solution to get drivers licensed throughout lockdowns. 

There's still no proper training program in place, which is what prompted the pause of licensing by the city. 

Uber tells blogTO they're happy to see the program starting to take shape, however they're disappointed by council's decision. 

"It is deeply unfair to punish the thousands of drivers... and the hundreds of thousands of Torontonians who require a reliable rideshare service to help them get from point A to point B because of the city's slow action," said a spokesperson for Uber. 

With applications being paused, there will be fewer drivers available around the city to accept rides, meaning longer wait times. 

With fewer drivers and a high demand for rides in specific areas, surge pricing will go into effect, therefore costing Torontonians more to get around using Uber. 

Uber says it will also affect opportunities for Torontonians who want to make money on the app. 

"The City is cutting off access to a critical safety net for Torontonians who have lost their jobs, need help paying bills, or are transitioning from one career to another. This is particularly true for women, young people and new immigrants," Uber tells blogTO. 

The call for mandatory training came after Uber and the city were sued in 2020 for the death of a 28-year-old when his Uber driver pulled over to remount his GPS. 

New driver applications received by the city after 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 10 will be affected by the freeze. 

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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