T.O. Uber drivers face nearly 200 charges: city official
Paul Johnston, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, August 12, 2015 7:51PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 12, 2015 9:56PM EDT
Dozens of Uber drivers in Toronto face a truckload of charges, a city official has confirmed.
As of Friday, 99 Uber drivers have been charged with 198 bylaw offences, Jackie DeSouza said Wednesday night.
In July, councillors voted for a crackdown on the ride-sharing service, while at the same time agreeing to a review of the city’s current rules governing ground transportation to try and create a single bylaw to cover both conventional taxis and Uber vehicles.
“I recognize the urgency and I recognize the fact that it is not satisfactory to have laws that exist on the books that either cannot be or are not enforced,” Mayor John Tory said last month.
“We need to have one bylaw, so we don’t have people operating outside the law and so we can have fair, safe, convenient service for the people of Toronto.”
In statement to CP24 Wednesday night, a representative with Uber Canada said that the right direction heading forward revolves around developing ‘common sense regulations.’
“We look forward to continuing our work with Mayor Tory and Toronto City Council to establish a permanent regulatory framework for ridesharing in Toronto,” Susie Heath said.
“We don't believe that the burden of enforcement should fall on individual drivers and Uber will support our driver partners fully. We will always stand behind the hardworking community of driver partners in Toronto and believe that a regulatory solution is the best path forward.”
According to Health, there are currently more than 13,000 Uber drivers operating in the city.
A representative with Beck Taxi questioned why it has taken so long for enforcement against Uber vehicles, which she said have been operating in Toronto for several years.
“We’re all a little confused about how long it took to get things started,” operations manager Kristine Hubbard said Wednesday night.
“The reality is, these are just bandit cabs – these are taxis on the road for hire. The police and bylaw enforcement have been enforcing existing bylaws that have been in place for years, specific to making sure that only licensed, properly insured, regulated drivers and vehicles are moving the public in the city.”
Last month, an Ontario Superior Court judge dismissed the city’s application for an injunction against Uber, noting that it “failed to demonstrate” that the ride-sharing service is violating its bylaws.