UberX will be regulated beginning immediately

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Thank you to the thousands of drivers who came out the the September 30 City Council meeting. It was a great group of respectful, law-abiding drivers who made the industry proud.

Click HERE to see the minutes of the Sept. 30 meeting. To see how each Councillor voted on the various motions, including Councillor Karygiannis' motion to regulate UberX immediately, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page.


Toronto rejects Transportation Network Companies: UberX will be regulated beginning immediately

September 30 (Toronto) – Today, Toronto City Council rejected recommendations from the September 8 staff report which suggested the creation of a special, second tier of regulations for UberX.

“We are pleased that Toronto Council voted against a two-tier system for transportation services and rejected the creation of Transportation Network Companies. We encourage the Toronto Police Service and Licensing By-Law officers to begin aggressive enforcement of the City’s by-laws, which will now capture UberX,” said Sam Moini, spokesperson for the Toronto Taxi Alliance.

Moini acknowledges that all of Canada is watching Toronto: “We are pleased that Council showed leadership on this vote and is setting the standard for safety and fairness across Canada. We thank Council for their votes in support of a strong taxi industry and look forward to working with the City in the years ahead to make our service even stronger.”

“It is unfortunate the Mayor has requested further study in order to change the rules to accommodate UberX in the city. We are concerned that further delay means that consumer protection and public safety will be compromised,” Moini points out.

 

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Please be at City Hall TODAY Sept. 30

Attention all Toronto Taxi Alliance members!

Toronto City Council is debating the ground transportation report,

“Taxis, Limos and Uber”

10am Wednesday September 30th

We need YOU to be present in the Council Chambers to present a united front to Council.

 Please plan to attend the City Council meeting.

 

Please arrive at City Hall by 7am or shortly after if possible to ensure you get a seat in the Council Chamber.

 

 

Please visit sign Giorgio Mammoliti’s anti-Uber petition by visiting www.giorgiomammoliti.ca

 

“It’s a travesty Uber could not locate its own driver” – TTA

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September 20, 2015 (Toronto) – Toronto’s taxi industry is relieved to learn Toronto police have identified the Uber driver wanted for sexual assault last week, but astonished that police had to appeal to the public to identify the driver because Uber had no contact information for him.

“Last week, Toronto Police posted a notice asking for the public’s help in locating an UberX driver wanted for sexual assault,” says Sam Moini, spokesperson for the Toronto Taxi Alliance. “The TTA extends its sincerest sympathies to the young woman who was harmed.”

The Toronto Star, the Sun, the National Post, the CBC, Global News, CP24 and many other media outlets co-operated with police and dedicated space or airtime asking members of the public to assist police in identifying this man.

“It was very generous and civic-minded of these media outlets to help police in this way and we are relieved for all Torontonians that he has been located.

“However, no one posting this notice commented on the fact that Uber apparently could locate one of its own drivers,” Moini points out. “Uber also could not provide the age of the driver; the police list an age range of 26-30 years old. In fact, he is 21. This cannot be allowed to happen again.”

On September 30, Toronto City Council will vote on several issues concerning UberX. These Councillors have been consistently misled over Uber policies and especially the safety features offered – or more accurately, not offered – by UberX. For a year Uber has claimed that because the driver’s photo and first name (not last name) is displayed on its smartphone app, this somehow ensures passenger safety. This week, Toronto learned that this is clearly not true. Uber does not even have the last name of its own driver; the “background check” they claim to conduct on their drivers is not compliant with the City of Toronto’s requirements and remains a mystery to anyone seeking information

“The fact that Uber could not identify and cannot locate one of its own drivers and that police have turned to the public for help is an absolute travesty,” Moini says.

“It highlights once again – as recent coverage of UberX’s lack of insurance for its drivers has also done – that Uber misleads the public and politicians repeatedly as part of its business model and Toronto City Councillors must keep this in mind when they vote on September 30 before they vote whether or not to dismantle Toronto’s existing cab industry.”

Safety facts:

  • Toronto taxis have roof lights, city approved meter rates, door numbers, in-car cameras and driver IDs posted. UberX has none of these features.
  • Toronto taxi drivers take a 3 week training course and are licensed by the City. UberX drivers do not.
  • Toronto taxi drivers must have a police background check. UberX drivers do not.
  • Toronto drivers must carry $2M worth of commercial insurance. UberX drivers do not.

“Uber continues to mislead the public by repeating the claim that they have a $5 million dollar policy which covers their drivers, despite the fact that the Insurance Bureau of Canada has pointed out that is a standard non-owned auto insurance policy which does not offer coverage to their drivers; it exists to protect Uber in the case of negligence,” Moini adds.

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TVO Uber broadcast with TTA’s Sam Moini – please share!

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TTA Committee Member Sam Moini has been tireless in his efforts to represent the industry in Toronto's media.

 

http://tvo.org/video/programs/the-agenda-with-steve-paikin/uber-everywhere

TTA Spokesperson Sam Moini did a fantastic job with Steve Paikin on TVO's "The Agenda" on September 18th.

Please share this link widely with your friends and family, and forward to you City Councillor in advance of the September 30 Council Meeting.

Political will required to manage Uber, not new categories or regulations

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Gail and Norm

By Gail Souter, President

Toronto Taxi Alliance

 

Toronto’s taxi industry agrees with Uber’s Chris Schafer on one thing: Uber must be regulated.

As a matter of fact, all of the authority required to regulate it exists right now, in Toronto City by-laws section 545 (which govern ground transportation) and Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act (section 39.1 which governs public transportation for compensation).

We disagree that Uber deserves its own special, custom-created regulatory category.

UberX came to Toronto one year ago and launched its business deliberately choosing to disregard and ignore every one of Toronto’s by-laws and the insurance requirements of Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act. This outrageous act of civil disobedience has, astonishingly, been tolerated by Toronto politicians and Toronto police.

Toronto has all the power and authority it needs to regulate Uber right now. However for the past year, it has simply chosen not to enforce its own laws when dealing with UberX, whose drivers provide transportation for compensation in their personal vehicles, an activity which flies in the face of every regulation Toronto has ever enacted to protect public safety.  Yet at the same time, it has continued to enforce these bylaws with the legally licenced taxi industry.

Uber, a foreign company, has ignored all of Toronto’s local laws, and is now demanding Toronto re-write its by-laws to satisfy Uber. This is brazen and unacceptable.

The taxi industry in Toronto is subject to hundreds of separate requirements under By-law 545. Either these requirements are important to public safety and need to be followed; or they are no longer necessary and do not need to be followed by anyone. Fair enough: what is not fair is to use these rigorous requirements to commercially hog-tie the taxi industry while Uber is allowed to ignore them.

No one is suggesting Uber should not be allowed to dispatch cars in Toronto; we maintain simply that Uber should follow all the same rules for accountability and public safety that all the other dispatch companies follow.

When Schafer writes “Uber welcomes the opportunity to be regulated and follow the rules proposed by MLS,” he overlooks completely the fact that this regulatory framework already exists, and Uber wants nothing to do with it. Why does anyone suppose Uber would follow this proposed new set of rules designed just for them? Ignoring local regulation is an entrenched part of Uber’s business model all around the globe.

Should Uber next decide to get into providing cheaper bus service on TTC routes, or running cut-rate, discount, uninspected Uber restaurants and bars, will Toronto bend over backwards once again to re-write the rules for Uber?

London’s Guardian newspaper interestingly identifies Uber’s motivation in interfering with city governance:

“A more apt understanding of Uber’s ambitions is that the company wants to be involved in city governance – fashioning the new administrative capacities of urban environments. Rather than follow government rules, like any other utility, Uber wants a visible hand in creating urban policy, determining how cities develop and grow, eventually making the city itself a platform for the proliferation of ‘smart,’ data-based systems.

“While Uber is currently fighting for deregulation, it is misleading to understand this as simply attempting to remove legal barriers to market forces. Rather, it is a process of disrupting political power. And Uber has already established itself as a power player.”

The taxi industry calls upon Toronto politicians to demonstrate political will in enforcing its own existing laws fairly and consistently for everyone. Do not reward Uber’s aggressive stance on flouting the law by writing Uber a law of its own.

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This Op Ed was submitted to the National Post in response to Chris Schafer's fiction piece, published September 17th.The Post printed our response. 

http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/gail-souter-dont-reward-ubers-flouting-of-the-law-by-giving-it-its-own-special-regulatory-category