Taxi Drivers in Toronto on Verge of Striking Due to Uber

Taxi Drivers in Toronto on Verge of Striking Due to Uber

By: Daniel Steingold | August 06, 2016

Taxi drivers in Toronto are frustrated over the slow implementation of new regulations governing Uber drivers.

The new city bylaws, which came into effect on July 15, set a number of mandates for ridesharing services, including regular inspections, the same level of insurance as taxis (a minimum $2 million in liability coverage), and the payment of a $0.30 fee to the city per ride.

The ridesharing vehicles must also possess a “sign, decal emblem, symbol or number” displaying the logo or name of the company within the vehicle.

The process of enforcing these new bylaws was expected to take time— it was initially said that it would take “a number of weeks at least, due to volume.”

Due to the delay, taxi drivers in Toronto have threatened to strike behind the United Taxi Workers Association, perhaps as soon as August.

Just this past December, hundreds of taxi drivers blocked off a busy intersection in Toronto over the city’s failure to regulate UberX.

A spokesperson for Uber’s operations in Canada commented that the company has been looking to comply with the city’s new bylaw and that “we expect to fulfill each phase as it becomes available.”

While the UTWA supports a job action and subsequent strike, some other groups— such as the Toronto Taxi Alliance— have opposed one, while still supporting the enforcement of the new bylaw.

Toronto has about 5,000 licenses taxi drivers, which could mean a major disruption should they protest.

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