Category: Insurance

30 Mar

Toronto plans to introduce new regulations that may end conflict between taxi drivers and Uber

Taxi Truths Insurance, News, Regulation, Safety Issues, Story

 New regulations to govern rideshare services are coming, bringing hope of a possible truce to Toronto’s taxi wars.

Rideshares like UberX, operated by Uber Canada, have led to a revolution in the transportation marketplace: using a smartphone, one can summon a ride within minutes and travel across the city for less than the price of a traditional taxi cab. While proponents of the so-called sharing economy hail rideshares for their innovation, the services have met considerable resistance from taxi drivers, both internationally and locally, not to mention from government.

The taxi drivers claim they are being pushed out of the market by being forced to follow strict regulations governing who can or cannot provide transportation services.

“Drivers’ livelihoods are being taken away from them,” said Kristine Hubbard, operations manager for Beck Taxi, which is one of the city’s largest licensed cab companies.

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Source: Inside Toronto

24 Mar

Uber vehicle inspections get a failing grade

Taxi Truths Insurance, News, Race to the bottom, Regulation, Safety Issues, Story

First, let me make this very clear: I am neither for the taxi industry, nor am I for the ride-sharing companies. I am writing as an Automotive Service Technician, and I have real concerns about Uber. So far, most of the debate has been about driver and rider safety, following bylaws and getting the right insurance. But there’s another issue that isn’t being discussed: Did you know that an UberX vehicle can pass the company’s vehicle inspection, yet fail the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO) minimum safety standards? And this isn’t just in Ontario – I’m confident that if I put Uber’s inspection form up to any province’s standards, it’s possible to have the vehicle pass UberX and fail the provincial inspection.

There are many vehicles on the road that don’t meet the Ministry’s minimum standards. We advise our clients about their unsafe vehicle but it’s their decision whether they want to fix it or not (that issue in itself warrants another article). As a private citizen, you make that choice. The concern with Uber is that a paying customer can ride in a potentially unsafe vehicle; that vehicle is being used to directly generate income and, as such, I believe it should be considered commercial in nature.

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18 Mar

Aviva has introduced a new insurance product for ridesharing programs. But we’re predicting most drivers won’t even bother

Taxi Truths Insurance, Race to the bottom, Regulation, Safety Issues

A prediction, and a challenge.

As promised, Aviva Canada, one of Canada’s largest insurers, now has a plan in place for ridesharing programs in Ontario, and are currently with regulators in other key markets, such as Alberta, Quebec and the Maritimes. They don’t call it the Uber plan, but it’s the Uber plan. While acknowledging they want no part of ongoing legal gymnastics taking place over the legality of Uber in centres across Canada (Uber is not legal in most centres across Canada), they do want to make sure their customers are protected should they sign up to drive for a ridesharing program.
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16 Mar

Uber safety a source of concern, Toronto-area survey says

Taxi Truths Insurance, News, Race to the bottom, Regulation, Safety Issues, Story

When it comes to Uber, Toronto-area residents are less concerned with what the ride-sharing company is doing to the taxi industry than they are with their personal safety in the absence of municipal regulations.

An independent Environics Research Group survey found 56 per cent of residents support Uber with the support being stronger among those who use the service. Only 49 per cent of non-users support it.

But 60 per cent of respondents overall were concerned about the lack of municipal licensing and the implications for their safety with unlicensed Uber drivers.

The results were released Wednesday in conjunction with an online discussion platform designed to gather residents’ thoughts on regulating the app-based service.

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Source: Toronto Star