Corp Comm Connects

Brampton moves to license Uber
Feb. 17, 2016
By Peter Criscione

Brampton city councillors will move to suspend ride-sharing companies, like Uber, until a final decision can be made on how to regulate such operations.

“This is a good first step and I want to see greater public consultations, including all stakeholders such as the City’s taxis, limousine drivers, operators, and those who work for or use Uber,” said councillor Gurpreet Dhillon, who will table a motion at the Feb. 24 meeting of council.

The rise of ride sharing companies like Uber have turned the taxi industry on its head, prompting mass demonstrations from cab drivers who want municipalities to clamp down.

Earlier this month, Mayor Linda Jeffrey made public her commitment to clamp down on unregulated ride-sharing operations in this city.

In her letter to the Peel Taxi Alliance, an advocacy group representing some 4,000 cab drivers in Brampton and Mississauga, Jeffrey took aim at what she described as illegal, unlicensed and unregulated ride sharing operators that “use municipal roads and infrastructure without contributing anything for their use and maintenance.”

Jeffrey said in that correspondence that city staff has been instructed to examine all options that will restrict illegal ride sharing companies from operating in Brampton.

“I share your concern that such companies providing ride sharing services do not carry adequate insurance, safety inspections or driver training,” Jeffrey told the alliance. “In addition, these drivers fail to acquire proper police background checks that are required of all Brampton taxi drivers.”

Uber continues to make waves as it expands its market share in cities and undercuts traditional taxi operations.

The company is locked in a series of regulatory battles - mainly with municipal and provincial governments - over taxi regulations.

Dhillon’s said his motion starts discussions at the municipal level about “public safety, consumer protection, fairness and regulation.”

“Until this public review is completed, we’re asking Uber to suspend their operations within the City of Brampton until we know a fair and competitive environment has been created, and that public safety is guaranteed,” Dhillon said.

The motion instructs enforcement staff to review current bylaws and make recommendations to council to consider, including changes that will regulate Transportation Network Companies, taxicab and limousine businesses in Brampton “in a manner that will allow their businesses to operate in a fair and competitive environment.”

The city will also host public consultations.

In the meantime, ride-sharing companies will cease operating “in Brampton until the review is complete and the appropriate regulations are adopted.”