Uber gets licence to operate in Toronto

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The controversial ride company Uber has been given a a Private Transportation Company (PTC) licence by the City of Toronto, the first of its kind in Canada.

Since a May 3 Council decision, City staff have been preparing and implementing the new Vehicle-for-Hire Bylaw, which came into effect July 15. This work included significant technology enhancements, system programming, and organizational and business process changes.

In addition to allowing private transportation companies to operate, the Bylaw includes changes which have been implemented for the taxi industry:
• flexible ownership for taxicab owners, including permission to incorporate and own more than one taxicab
• the taxicab industry can set fares for trips booked in advance, and
• decreased annual licensing fees.

With the issuance of Uber’s PTC licence, the City will begin to screen and issue PTC driver licences to individuals performing vehicle-for-hire services through UberX.  Screening includes criminal background and driver abstract checks, vehicle inspection certificates, and insurance.

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Tracey Cook, head of the licensing department, denied that the timing of the decision had anything to do with the protest planned by members of the taxi industry outside her department’s east-end offices.

“I have a lot of respect for the taxi industry,” Ms. Cook told reporters. “They’re upset. It’s a period of transformation. They have a right to do what it is they want to do. It’s unfortunate. I would really rather see the taxi cab industry work on delivering quality customer service to the people that use their service instead of protesting.”

More information about the Vehicle-for-hire Bylaw can be found at https://www.toronto.ca/vehicleforehire. – CINEWS

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