Travelling within Toronto is not cheap, just ask a Torontonian. Sitting in cab will cost you $4.25, an additional 25 cents for every 0.143 km and another 25 cents for waiting time under engagement. It may not seem like much but it most certainly adds up. Conversely, in Paris $15 could get you to the other side of town. Hence, it is no surprise that Uber which only charges $2.50 to sit in has more affordable time cost expenses is flourishing, especially in times of recession. Perhaps this is why Toronto is changing its stance against Uber.
After fighting long and hard against Uber, Toronto has considered embracing Uber’s cheaper fees. Like the U.S, Toronto is currently considering legalizing Uber and regulating it under transportation network companies (TNC). Hence, Uber will be regulated under a different system than taxi drivers. Other cities looking to embrace this regulation include but are not limited to: Ottawa, Edmonton and Waterloo. Edmonton has already employed a strategy to incorporate Uber into its culture.
Although Uber is less expensive for clients, it is far more costly for Uber drivers in Edmonton. Uber regulation could cost drivers up to $6791.50 per year. Edmonton bylaws require Uber drivers to obtain commercial insurance that costs up to $6,000 annually. Although Uber offers to cover Uber drivers up to 5 million dollars for bodily injuries and property damage, Canadian law requires commercial insurance for drivers charging for their services. Additionally, drivers need to undergo criminal record checks, vehicle inspections and license applications. Non-compliance to these regulations could cost illegal drivers up to $5,000 in fines. One may feel these expenses justify legalizing Uber however taxi drivers disagree.
Many taxi drivers believe the fees simply aren’t enough. While taxi drivers have capped rates for providing their services, Uber drivers have no such limitation as they can set their own rates. This is a troubling reality for taxi drivers. Numerous taxi drivers are petitioning against the legalization of Uber and insisting taxi fares be reduced. Taxi drivers fear that taxi usage will plummet and that they will consequently lose their jobs.
Pros vs. Cons
If Uber is legalized, travelling would be cheaper for Torontonians as the base fare is only $2.50 compared to $4.25 for taxies. Legalizing Uber would also help small communities with less transportation options find affordable means of transportation.
Conversely, legalizing Uber could result in a significant setback for those who drive taxis for a living. In addition, there have been multiple cases of sexual assault where authorities have had difficulty catching the perpetrators. Also, without commercial insurance, consumers are left vulnerable and unsafe. Finally, requesting Uber in bad weather may cost more than a taxi. If you’re also against high taxi fares, then you can sign the petition prepared by Beck Taxi to lower taxi fares http://tinyurl.com/oqd5uv8.
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Points of Discussion:
- Which side do you agree with?
- Is Uber legalized where you live? If so, what is your take on its legalization?