These two notes re Uber in Toronto  are taken from page 7 (Road Transportation) of the May 2016 Transportation Information Update (No. 141) prepared by Joseph Monteiro and Gerald Robertson for the Canadian Transportation Research Forum and distributed to CILTNA’s members with permission.

UberX will be allowed to operate legally in Toronto, city council decides Toronto will allow UberX to operate legally in the city while also cutting regulations for taxis, a decision that came after hours of heated city council debate on April 3, 2016. “The public wants to have choices, and they should have choices,” said Mayor John Tory, who has pushed for months to bring the controversial ride service under some sort of regulation. Critics shot back that the decision watered down labour and safety standards while protecting wealthy taxi-plate owners. Mr. Tory’s proposal was tabled as a complicated and lengthy motion running 20 pages. He called it “the closest that we could come” to staff recommendations that were decimated last month by a city hall committee, with some extra changes to secure additional support.

New Toronto Uber rules means more surge pricing and insurance for all. On May 3, 2016, Toronto city councillors voted 27-15 in favour of new rules for taxis and ride-hailing services such as UberX, which allows regular drivers to pick up passengers without a taxi licence. The city will create a new class of licence — called a “private transportation company” licence — that Uber and other ride-hailing firms would have to apply for. The city will allow Uber and other Uber-like companies like Lyft to operate in Toronto, but as long as rides are booked only through a smartphone. Insurance requirements will be the same for both Uber and Taxis, $2 million. Uber is to add $0.30 per trip to each fare as a “city fee,” as stipulated by the regulations, to be remitted to the city. Uber and other private transportation companies must maintain a $3.25 minimum fare but can allow for “surge pricing” when the service is busy.

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