Uber has been operating in the city of Hamilton since July and although the riders we spoke with really like the service the taxi industry has been pushing back calling it unfair competition.
The draft bylaw goes to a public hearing next Wednesday.
As the app continues to grow both in popularity and controversy, the incident marks the latest headline in a collection of stories raising questions about the safety of Uber and its hiring practices.
The Vehicle for Hire Bylaw would standardize driver requirements, meaning Uber drivers would have to get criminal record checks, proper insurance, the right provincial driver’s licences and yearly inspections on their vehicles. “The City of Toronto released yesterday its report on ridesharing regulations, which provided a Canadian framework for including ridesharing in regulations”.
In upholding the ruling, last month’s court decision also upholds an injunction sought by the national taxi drivers’ association ANTRAL against Uber, which was accepted in April and suspends any company activities.
“There will be a flooding of taxis in the city”, said president Balraj Manhas. “This market will be open for everybody, and there will be no full-time jobs”.
“Unlike the taxi industry, our background checking process and standards are consistent across the United States and often more rigorous than what is required to become a taxi driver”, spokesman Taylor Bennett told The Atlantic.
“We actually involved the Teamsters Local Union 987 and a lobby group, they’re called Alberta Council”, explained Manhas. Lawyer Shayne Saskiw, former Wildrose MLA turned lobbyist, is helping the taxi drivers make their case.
“The main concern here is there seems to be two sets of rules”, said Saskiw, who wants to see all laws enforced regularly.
“We gave a clear message to the city that if they do not step in and take action to stop this new draft bylaw, the drivers will come on the street”, he said.
The plan was tabled by the City Council after a public-relations blitz by Uber and the company’s agreement to turn over trip data the administration wanted.