The City of Toronto is escalating its fight against Uber by proposing a blanket ban on the app, preventing all 12,000 of its employees from using the controversial service – at least during work hours.
The motion to remove the ride-sharing app from city employees’ smartphones was filed by councillor Jim Karygiannis and seconded by counceller Glenn De Baeremaeker, reports CTV News.
The authors of the motion claim that they wish to “protect our employees from physical harm and protect the taxpayers from financial harm” that could result from UberX drivers lacking commercial auto insurance, especially on rides taken during workday hours.
UberX is the company’s budget option, in which an “everyday car”, rather than a licenced taxi, is sent to the customer’s location.
The motion states that employees engaging in Uber services would participate in violations of the Highway Traffic Act and the Compulsory Service Act, sending mixed messages about the need to follow provincial laws.
It also calls for city-led agencies and corporations to follow suit, and for the city manager to communicate the risks accompanying “unlicensed and uninsured bandit taxi services.”
“We wouldn't want our own families riding in an unlicensed and uninsured taxi and we certainly don’t want our employees doing that either,” reads the motion.
Uber has operated in Toronto for three years and held a rally in Nathan Phillips Square earlier this month to garner public support for its survival.
“There are no regulations right now that apply to ridesharing and UberX. We want to work with the city to create those regulations,” Uber Toronto GM Ian Black told the outlet. “We think it should be on the agenda and the hundreds that showed up today think it should be on the agenda too.”