Category: Uncategorized

08 Mar

Committee hears cab drivers’ concerns about Uber

Taxi Truths News, Race to the bottom, Regulation, Safety Issues, Story, Surge pricing, Uncategorized

Ride sharing services like Uber are inevitable and Saskatoon needs to be ready, the city’s transportation committee heard Tuesday.

“We’re going to deal with it rather than have it deal with us,” committee chair Coun. Randy Donauer said.

At the same time, he and other committee members advocated navigating the regulation process carefully and with proper consultation from all affected industries.

“I think we’re in for a fairly lengthy process,” Donauer said.

City council previously expressed a desire to have the province regulate ride sharing services. According to a report the transportation committee received Tuesday, the province responded by saying municipalities should create their own regulations.

The report was passed to council for information, along with motions instructing the administration to consult with the taxi industry and look at whether it’s viable to regulate taxis and ride sharing companies using the same rules.

Seven citizens from the taxi and car service industries spoke at the committee meeting, all in favour of regulating Uber.

To read full article click here

Source: The Star Phoenix

01 Mar

Uber Alberta says it will shut down Tuesday unless province agrees to changes

Taxi Truths Uncategorized

February 27, 2016 – The manager for Uber in Alberta says the ride-sharing app will cease operating in the province on Tuesday unless the provincial government makes insurance and licensing changes.

Ramit Kar told a demonstration of about 150 Uber supporters on the steps of the Alberta legislature on Saturday that the government must allow flexibility on requirements that drivers have commercial licences.

He says the province must also approve a ride-sharing insurance product that Uber has obtained from a private insurer.

Uber wants the changes in order to satisfy requirements passed by Edmonton Council that take effect on March 1.

Under the Edmonton bylaw, Uber drivers must carry provincially approved insurance, have an annual vehicle inspection and agree to a criminal record check.

To read full article click here

Source: The Globe and Mail

29 Feb

Mississauga Could Be the First GTA City to Legalize Uber

Taxi Truths Uncategorized

For the past few months, the battle between the taxicab industry and Uber has been fraught with rancor and vitriol, leading to passionate protests on the part of the embattled cab industry in Toronto.

While the lion’s share of the theatrics have played out in The6ix, Uber has a presence in Mississauga and the city is noticing and taking steps to potentially regulate the popular company, along with other ride-sharing organizations.

According to a recent article in The Star, a staff report that’s set to be debated at a March 2 council meeting recommends an “equal regulation” option that would formally legalize services like UberX while still allowing the traditional cab industry to compete with the industrious newcomer.

Mayor Bonnie Crombie released a statement to The Star regarding the issue, telling the newspaper, “I have always maintained that we have to strike a balance between new technologies and an established industry that has a long history of providing quality service. It is important that we create a level playing field that allows for growth and progress within the industry, while protecting public safety.”

To read full article click here


21 Feb

What the Michigan shooting spree reveals about Uber’s background checks

Taxi Truths News, Race to the bottom, Regulation, Uncategorized

Authorities said they are investigating whether Uber driver Jason Brian Dalton may have given a harrowing ride to a passenger shortly before embarking on a shooting spree in Kalamazoo, Mich., that killed six — and that they are looking into whether Dalton may have continued picking up fares in the middle of his rampage.

Ultimately, investigators may decide that there was no reliable way to predict that Dalton would, during a single shift on the job, morph from his identity as a driver into his role as a mass killer. Police say Dalton didn’t have a criminal history.

An Uber spokesman confirmed Dalton had been working with the company and said he had passed a background check required for drivers employed by the company. The person declined to say how long Dalton had been driving for Uber.

The incident came just weeks after Uber settled two class-action lawsuits for $28.5 million after the company was accused of exaggerating the safety of its background checks. Despite using phrases such as “safest ride on the road” and “industry-leading background checks,” the suits claimed, the company did not check drivers against the national sex-offender registry or employ fingerprint identification.

“We learned of systemic failures in Uber’s background checks,” San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said in reference to the lawsuits, according to Forbes. “We have learned they have drivers who are convicted sex offenders, thieves, burglars, kidnappers and a convicted murder.”

“This is only really scratching the surface,” he added.

To read full article click here

Source: Washington Post

11 Feb

What rights will B.C.’s Uber drivers have?

Taxi Truths Uncategorized

With the conversation about Uber coming to B.C. heating up, we’ve heard plenty about customer demand, safety, insurance, and the taxi industry.

But what we haven’t heard much about are one of the key stakeholders in the conversation: the future drivers who will be Ubering us around.

With the “sharing economy” squarely on the agenda, it’s prompted a call from some of B.C.’s tech workers for a conversation about how the province’s labour force of the future will be treated.

Digital Working Class

Alex Samuel is a Vancouver technology researcher who’s calling on the province to classify workers in the growing so-called sharing economy as employees.

She says it’s natural that technologies like Uber will be disruptive – but that it shouldn’t come at the cost of a fair work environment.

“We all have something to lose if people can be put out of good jobs and into employment situations where they don’t have protection.”

That’s because according to Uber, its workers are independent contractors, not employees.

Here in B.C., that could mean no minimum wage, no overtime, no employment insurance, no WorkSafe protection, and no coverage on expenses like gas or vehicle maintenance.

It’s a controversial classification, and one that’s prompted a class action lawsuit by drivers in California who want official protections.

To read full article click here

Source: CKNW

04 Feb

Landscape shifting quickly as region mulls rules for Uber

Taxi Truths Uncategorized

It’s been more than six months since Uber launched in Waterloo Region – and as of this writing, driving a vehicle locally for it or any other ridesharer remains illegal.

The region’s current taxicab bylaw regulates all vehicle-for-hire services, and issues licences for people to operate those services.

Locally and around the world, taxi drivers have lobbied against Uber’s arrival, raising concerns about safety, insurance and other issues around unregulated ridesharing. 

Regional clerk Kris Fletcher says the region has received “close to 100 complaints” about Uber or other ridesharers since last fall.

“We continue to investigate each and every complaint as we receive them,” she said in an interview.

Six people have been charged for violating the region’s taxi bylaw in that timespan, Fletcher said.

In the meantime, regional officials continue to work on a new bylaw to cover taxis, Uber and anyone else who might want to offer rides in exchange for money.

To read full article click here

Source: CTV News

02 Feb

Quebec taxi drivers seek injunction against Uber

Taxi Truths Uncategorized

The union representing 4,00taxi-drivers0 Montreal taxi drivers has filed a request for a permanent injunction to ban Uber in Quebec.

The Regroupement des travailleurs autonomes Métallos filed the request against Uber and the popular ride-hailing service UberX.

Around a dozen taxi drivers gathered at the courthouse to support the move.

The request for a permanent injunction asks the court to declare Uber illegal, force the company to cease operations and disable its mobile app across Quebec.

“Uber and those who profit from it are profiting off disrespect for the law and regulations currently in effect in Quebec,” the request reads.

To read full article click here

Source: CBC

01 Feb

Taxi Associations call upon Aviva to make new insurance available to cab drivers, report on product sales

Taxi Truths Uncategorized

TORONTO, Feb. 1, 2016 /CNW/ – The Toronto Taxi Alliance (TTA) today repeated requests for information it sent to Aviva’s CEO on January 29th.

In a letter to Aviva CEO Greg Sommerville signed by TTA President Gail Souter and Canadian Taxicab Association (CTA) President Marc Andre Way, the TTA and CTA wrote:

“We in the legal, regulated taxi industry are perplexed as to how it is possible for any Ontario insurance company to insure an illegal activity, such as UberX. In fact, one of our city councillors has written Finance Minister Charles Sousa to inquire as to how his ministry could approve an insurance product for an activity which violates the Highway Traffic Act.”

Among the requests the TTA and CTA made of Aviva were:

  • That Aviva agree to release the number of such endorsements actually sold: “As we have been informed by a number of insurance professionals, the fact that a commercial endorsement (for example, the OPCF 6A) is AVAILABLE does not mean any UberX drivers will purchase it.

“We are very concerned that an Aviva announcement that ‘an approved product exists and is available for purchase’ will be misconstrued by politicians to mean ‘20,000 illegal UberX drivers are now insured.’

“The fact that a product is available does not mean that thousands of UberX drivers are going to announce that they are picking up paying passengers, and purchase Aviva insurance with the new endorsement.

To read full article click here

Source: Canadian NewsWire

18 Jan

Uber versus taxis: Who’s lobbying whom at Toronto city hall

Taxi Truths Uncategorized

There’s been no shortage of public political posturing in Toronto’s battle over who’s allowed to drive you places for money and what happens if local governments can’t or won’t enforce their own bylaws.

But much of the jockeying takes place behind closed doors — in meetings, phone calls or email exchanges between councillors, policy-makers and those hoping to sway them.

An Uber driver has been charged after an alleged sex assault of a passenger in Vaughan. Edmonton judge overturns decision; Uber driver heading to trial
Tory, Wynne discuss Uber strategy
Toronto Mayor John Tory is pictured in Toronto on December 2, 2014. Tory and other Canadian mayors are discussing ways to bring more Syrian refugees to their cities. It would be impractical for Toronto to try to shut down Uber: Tory

The city has pledged to figure out, some time in the next several months, how and whether to regulate Uber and cab companies. But before that Global News looked at who’s been lobbying whom at Toronto city hall.

To read full article click here

Source: Global News

14 Jan

Region calling on Queen’s Park for Uber regulations

Taxi Truths Uncategorized

Niagara Region is looking to drive change at the provincial level.

Council is calling on the province to develop ridesharing legislation to regulate companies such as Uber in Ontario.

Grimsby Coun. Tony Quirk initiated the call to action with a motion during Thursday night’s council meeting.

While he stressed he respects the work being done by the Niagara Regional Police services board to find a solution to the issue that is “Niagara-centric,” he believes the discussion needs to be had at the provincial level.

He fears each community solving the problem on its own terms will result in “a patchwork of regulations across the province.”

“That does not make good business sense for companies that want to come in and take a look at it.”

To read full article click here

Source: St. Catharines Standard