Mississauga city council votes in favour of banning UberX
Mississauga city council has voted in favour of axing Uber and other ridesharing services until further notice.
On Wednesday, council passed a motion that requires all ground transportation companies to abide by new rules.
According to council, transportation companies in Mississauga must now “obtain a broker licence and operate using only licensed taxi and limousine drivers, operating licensed taxi and limousine vehicles.”
The new regulations consequently make services like UberX illegal.
Uber, which allows drivers to use their own vehicles to pick up transportation fares, does not fall within the city’s new ground transportation protocols.
But the service may not be banned permanently.
In a secondary motion on Wednesday, council also voted in favour of forming a committee that would be tasked with developing a set of terms for a “limited one-year pilot program” for ridesharing services.
The pilot program would work to determine how UberX and other services could appropriately operate “within the Mississauga marketplace.”
The Commissioner of Transportation and Works for Mississauga, Martin Powel, said that since the city’s taxi industry is “almost entirely dispatch-based,” taxi drivers are especially vulnerable to ridesharing services like Uber.
Powell said licensed taxis have an advantage in bigger cities, like Toronto, where vehicles are both dispatched and hailed.
“Cities where taxis have done better, such as Toronto or San Francisco, are ones in which ridership is a mid of dispatch and on-street hail, particularly in downtown areas,” he said. “Licensed taxis have an advantage in such centres because of their clear markings and customer expectations.”
In a press release, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie noted that the city must also try and accept new advancements in technology. She said the pilot program would work to “test drive” how Uber would operate under the rules laid out by Mississauga council.
“We cannot bury our heads in the sand, but must recognize new technologies and industry trends. By proposing the creation of a pilot program today for Transportation Network Companies (TNC’s), I think we will signal that we are willing to embrace change. We need to develop a “made in Mississauga” solution that will allow us to shape how TNC companies operate in our city, legally,” she said in the statement.
Speaking to CP24 on Wednesday afternoon, Crombie said that if rideshare companies want to continue working in Mississauga while the pilot project is being set up, they must purchase a brokerage license.
Last week, Toronto city council approved a set of new ground transportation regulations that ultimately legalized Uber by creating a new licensing category for ridesharing services.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said that Toronto’s decision to legalize Uber was “pro-consumer, pro-competition and pro-safety.”
Uber spokesperson Susie Heath told CP24 in an email that the company is still processing how this decision will affect their business.
“We are currently reviewing today’s vote in Mississauga and remain committed to work with the city to develop smart regulations for this new industry, as Toronto and Ottawa have recently done,” she said.
Meanwhile, a petition has surfaced on Change.org that asks Mississauga council to reverse its decision and allow Uber to operate legally.