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Windsor Approves New Rules for Uber, Despite Taxi Protests

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Taxi drivers took their best shot at stopping Windsor city council from legalizing Uber but apparently failed. The council has moved ahead with its regulations, reports CBC News.

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Under the new rules, Uber drivers must undergo the same background checks as cab drivers; they cannot have vehicles older than 10 years; and vehicles between one and five years old must undergo annual inspections, but that doubles for cars older than five years.

Taxi drivers and their legal representatives argued against the new rules, because they create two different systems for ride-sharing services and taxis, they say. It does that while imposing a “more onerous and expensive burden on taxi operations”, they say.

One of the major issues, raised by Vets Cab driver Marwan Abouzeeni, is that Uber drivers don’t have to pay the same fees to the city as taxi drivers. That gives them an unfair advantage: “How on earth would anyone in this chamber call this a level playing field?” Abouzeeni asked.

While John Toth, first vice-president of Unifor Local 195, asked the council to force Uber drivers to equip their vehicles with a camera for security and safety purposes – the police work with taxi operators to solve crimes by reviewing video recordings – Chris Schafer of Uber Canada argued that ride-hailing services eliminate anonymity that attracts criminal activity, since every Uber user is identified in the app. And installing cameras would be too expensive, he added.

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