According to a Global News report, the Kingston Area Taxi Commission (KATC) has passed a new bylaw that requires companies like Uber and Lyft to be regulated like traditional taxis. The 37-page bylaw sets out new rules that apply to license, vehicle maintenance and age, and also imposes operating fees on “transportation networking companies”.
Uber driver Victor Guilherm from Kingston believes the bylaw was specifically drafted to discourage ride-hailing companies from operating in the city. “It looks like it’s basically made up to drive Uber out of Kingston,” said Guilherm. “I really think Uber will leave, this is a small market. This bylaw is asking quite a few things”.
Once the new bylaw goes into effect, all drivers will have to apply for an annual paper license, with registration fees somewhere between $600-$950 yearly, depending on when the driver decides to renew.
Drivers would also have to foot the bill for police record checks, and all cars would have to be less than seven years old and checked regularly. Moreover, any transportation networking company like Uber or Lyft must pay a $40,000 startup fee and a recurring $35,000 annual administration fee.
The enforcement of the new bylaw will be handled by the commission’s current taxi inspector Dave Kennedy, who refused comment for this story.
As part of the bylaw, companies like Uber will be limited to 50 cars on the road at one time, and a total of 150 registered vehicles in the city.
The bylaw, which is two years in the making, will be enforced Sep. 15.