Uber app could be deleted from city-issued smartphones
In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, a man leaves the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
Published Tuesday, May 19, 2015 5:00PM EDT
The City of Toronto doesn't want its employees to use the popular app Uber on company smartphones.
In a motion filed by Coun. Jim Karygiannis and seconded by Coun. Glenn De Baeremaeker, Toronto is recommending the GPS-enabled app be removed from approximately 12,000 smartphones that have been issued to city employees.
The motion says workers who use the UberX program to travel to municipal meeting are a potential liability since drivers are not commercially insured.
"As we have come to learn, UberX drivers don't have a commercial insurance," the motion reads. "If employees get hurt, taxpayers will pay. We can't let that happen."
Uber is service that allows customers to get a taxi, private car or rideshare through the company's app. The company has been operating in Toronto for more than two years, during which time it has argued that it doesn't require a taxi license.
Earlier this month, council voted to defer a debate on whether to grant Uber Canada a Toronto taxi brokerage licence until the company's legal battle with the city is over. That new licence would only apply to the UberTAXI program, which allows existing, licensed taxi drivers to operate using the Uber app. It would not apply to the UberX program, which allows ordinary drivers screened by Uber to pick up passengers in their own vehicles.
The city's licensing and standards division is trying to get a court injunction to shut down Uber's operations, claiming unlicensed taxi cabs pose a safety risk to the public. A court hearing was scheduled for Tuesday.
Karygiannis' motion will be debated by executive committee on May 26, and will be considered by council on June 10.