Corp Comm Connects

UberX drivers face 72 city bylaw charges in enforcement crackdown

After enforcement of UberX became a hot topic last week, the city says it is filing 72 bylaw charges against drivers.
July 14, 2015
By Jennifer Pagliaro

The city has laid 72 charges against 36 UberX drivers in the ongoing battle over regulating the ride-sharing company.

The news comes in the same week that Uber - which offers users a way to hail cabs, black cars or unlicensed drivers in unmarked cars using an app on their phone - launched its new carpooling service in Toronto.

“These investigations are focused on all unlicensed drivers who are providing private ground transportation services,” said a statement from Tracey Cook, the city’s executive director of municipal licensing and standards.

The charges - which are were laid both before and following council pushed to ensure enforcement under the current rules just last week - are for being a limousine owner without a licence and for failing to submit a vehicle for approval by the licensing and standards division.

Cook said their work is “focused on all unlicensed drivers who are providing private ground transportation services.”

Court dates are still pending.

Municipal licensing and standards says the set fines in this case are $500 and $300 and have a maximum penalty of $5,000.

Last month, a Superior Court judge ruled Uber was not operating a taxi or limousine service and was therefore not breaking any city rules. However, the ruling did not specifically deal with the responsibility of drivers.

According to city rules, any car that is hired to transport a passenger, and is not a taxi, is a limousine and must adhere to the standards for licensing and inspection.

The city is currently committed to changing the municipal bylaws after Mayor John Tory called for a single set of rules that would apply to both taxis and services like Uber.

Meanwhile, the taxi industry has called on the city and police to continue enforcing the current rules against Uber drivers.

Susie Heath, spokesperson for Uber Canada said it will stand with its drivers.

“We don’t believe that the burden of enforcement should fall on individual drivers and Uber will support our partners fully,” she said in an email.