‘Technology has changed this business’: Tory on Uber regulations

Dozens of cab drivers filled the seats of Toronto City Hall as officials met to discuss regulations for Uber.

“The fact is that technology has changed this business,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said Wednesday morning.

“I have great sympathy for the plight of taxi drivers and others in the business because their business is being changed by technology.”

Tory made the comments as he arrived at City Hall ahead of a meeting of the Licensing and Standards Committee. The committee met to discuss changes to Toronto’s taxi industry outlined in a report published last week.

The report also recommended that Uber drivers be bound by some of the same regulations cab drivers face, like the need for proper insurance, vehicle inspections, and background checks.

It suggests updating the definition of a taxicab broker to include technology-based services like Uber.

The ride-hailing app would fall under a newly created licensing category: Transportation Network Companies, or TNC.

Cab drivers demonstrated in front of City Hall and gathered inside the meeting room as part of a protest organized by the Toronto Taxi Alliance. Many cab drivers said they were not satisfied with the recommendations, which they say would create a two-tier system.

UberX, the most commonly used service provided by Uber Canada, has been operating in Toronto for a year. The service has thus far been able to get around the city’s laws, claiming that Uber is a communication service, not a cab company.

Toronto city councillors voted for a crackdown on the ride-sharing service in July, saying the service gave UberX drivers an unfair advantage over cab organizations. Councillors also voted unanimously to review the city’s current taxi bylaws.

Also read at: http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/technology-has-changed-this-business-tory-on-uber-regulations-1.2565551