The surge of Uber is on the rise worldwide, and in Canada, as the company has revealed to CTV News it now has “over a half million” regular Canadian users.
Ian Black, General Manager of Uber Toronto, responded to recent controversy surrounding Uber, which has caused widespread taxi protests in Montreal, Toronto and more.
When asked why Uber does not wait for city councillors and mayors to modify taxi bylaws to accommodate for the service, Black explained “ride-sharing is a very different business model and very different regulatory consideration than the taxi industry.”
He continued to say “Most cities around the world who have regulated this, and there are about 60 … have chosen to create new regulatory framework,” similar to what he says has been suggested by Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary.
Black also emphasized Uber’s benefits, which he says has led to the creation of “over 20,000 jobs”, with most UberX drivers (those in their private vehicles) driving on average of 10 hours per week.
Uber can also reduce congestion, as with the company’s recent uberHOP launch in Toronto, a flat rate shared pickup and drop-off service, similar to transit. This has the TTC promising a legal review of the service.
As for probably the most controversial point about Uber, Black says “every uberX ride is insured”, while also referring to a recent partnership with Intact Insurance (not yet in place) “to create even more and new policies for the ride-sharing industry,” for safer rides.
“There’s over a half a million Canadians now who rely on Uber on a regular basis for their ride,” Black detailed. “I think the vast majority of people who use our service … really see the innovations that we’re bringing as a good thing.”
Last month, Uber revealed Montreal alone generates 300,000 rides per month, as one ride is requested every 9 seconds.