Next week, Mississauga could be the first city in the Greater Toronto Area to fully legalize and regulate ride-sharing services, like Uber.
According to city staff, the council meeting is set for March 2, where the city is recommending and “equal regulation” option that would legalize services like UberX while still allowing competition from traditional taxi companies.
The council meeting in Mississauga is likely to be watched closely by the city of Toronto, especially after Calgary approved new rules that Uber rejected last week. In a statement, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said:
“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.”
However, the newly proposed rules are being carefully criticized by both Uber and the rest of the industry. Mississauga city staff have recommended that Uber drivers get the same police background check and training as traditional taxi driver, in addition to providing a proof of English literacy and a proof of “equivalent” insurance. Uber drivers would also be required to get a vehicle inspection every six months.
The city, however, would not regulate fairs for ride-sharing services like Uber. City staff have recommended that traditional taxi services be allowed to set any price through their own mobile apps. This would allow the traditional taxi services to compete with Uber.
In a statement, Uber Canada spokesperson Susie Heath said:
“While we believe that many aspects proposed in the staff report support the ridesharing model, there are some serious flaws that place unnecessary barriers on drivers’ ability to earn on the platform and riders’ access to reliable transportation.”
The report also notes that preliminary regulations for ride-sharing services in Toronto are expected to be revealed in April and head to council in May.
[via Toronto Star]