Authorities in Windsor, including bylaw officers and police, are gearing up for a large-scale sting operation on Uber drivers as complaints come in about the service. Mayor Drew Dilkens has said it will be a “co-ordinated enforcement initiative” that will catch Uber drivers in action, Windsor Star is reporting. Uber drivers could be charged with driving a cab without a taxi licence, for a $205 fine, or with no licence, taxi cab driver, which bears a $105 fine.
City Council is waiting on a $30,000 consultant report with recommendations of how to accommodate ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft in the city’s regulations. Dilkens said until then, those drivers are operating in contravention to the city’s public vehicles bylaw.
“If there’s no enforcement action in a short time, we are planning an information rally to draw attention to it,” said John Toth, vice-president of Unifor Local 195, which represents Vets Cab drivers.
Vets Cab has been sending out Uber Alerts to its drivers, asking them to record license plates and the car make of people they suspect are working for Uber. “We have to be regulated for the sake of public safety,” said Andom Gebrzgie, who has driven for Vets for 20 years.
Mayor Dilkens added that bylaw officers can’t lay charges alone, because they don’t have the right to ask a driver for identification. Only police can do that. Furthermore, Uber riders must register with a credit card to request a ride. “You need multiple credit cards in order to undertake enforcement because once you fine someone, that credit card gets flagged and probably can’t be used again,” Dilkens said.
An Uber Canada spokesperson did not respond to the questions about why the company has chosen to operate in Windsor before proper regulations have been developed in the city.