The city of Toronto announced new regulations on ride-sharing app Uber Thursday after months of heated tension between Toronto taxis and Uber drivers.
Among these regulations are yearly inspections for Uber vehicles, criminal background checks for all drivers , and “vehicle-for-hire” licences for Uber drivers.
The proposal comes after months of taxi drivers protesting that Uber should be subject to a set of rules and regulations like traditional taxi companies.
“We want the same rules for all and would be gravely disappointed, and a little skeptical, that Uber, which is supposed to be super competitive, can’t compete on a level playing field and needs a special set of rules,” Rita Smith, executive director of the Toronto Taxi Alliance, told the Toronto Star.
These new rules and regulations are supposed to accommodate ride-sharing services that dispatch privately owned vehicles, like Uber, into the city, while alleviating some of the regulations on the traditional Toronto taxi industry.
The new regulations would affect areas such as the accessibility of vehicles, mechanical inspections, licensing, background checks and insurance.
The city may also waive training fees for drivers of accessible cabs, require services like Uber to complete an accessibility training program, require Uber drivers to be subject to vehicular inspections annually at any garage that meets city requirements and for taxi drivers to be subject to semi-annual vehicular inspections at city-run garages.