Monday, February 26, 2024
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Uber demands “open process…public debate” in lawsuit against Toronto

“Uber will lose its customer base, goodwill and revenues” and “suffer harm that is not recoverable in damages”

Toronto’s failure to provide notice of change to city regulations deprives business of an “open and transparent process and the opportunity for public debate,” according to Uber, which benefited tremendously when multiple city regulations concerning ground transportation and Taxi by-laws were changed without notice in 2014.

Toronto Councillors appeared shocked to realize the city has ten times more vehicles for hire cruising the streets than it did before it began discussing Net Zero emissions. Photo: YouTube

The City of Toronto voted on October 11th to place a cap on the estimated 55,000 rideshare vehicles cruising its streets in an effort support its plan to reduce emissions. As a result of Council’s vote, it has been served with a lawsuit by Uber Canada Inc. According to the statement of claim filed by Uber, “the City enacted the Licence Cap in bad faith, in a process tainted with bias and influence of special interests.”

Because of time constraints at press time, Taxi industry comment on “a process tainted with bias and influence of special interests” is being compiled for a separate article.

When asked for comment on the Uber suit, Toronto’s legal department advised Taxi News “The City received Uber’s application yesterday afternoon. It is in the process of reviewing it and cannot provide any further comment as the matter is before the courts.”

Since former Mayor John Tory welcomed Uber immediately after his election in 2014 with the statement, “Uber and Hailo are here to stay!” the number of vehicles for hire in Toronto exploded from 5,500 to 86,000. Staff have since adjusted the figure to 54,620.

Councillor Mike Colle

Many of the Councillors involved in the October 11 discussion on Net Zero and Electric Vehicles appeared shocked to learn that Toronto had placed no limit on the number of rideshare vehicles allowed to cruise the streets, and that there are now ten times more vehicles for hire than there were before Toronto began discussing a plan to achieve “Net Zero” emissions.

Councillor Mike Colle’s motion to place a temporary cap on rideshares was suggested as an interim measure, to remain in place while Licensing and Standards staff develop a more fulsome report due at the end of 2024.

According to Uber’s statement, “Uber will lose its customer base, goodwill and revenues” and “Uber will suffer harm that is not recoverable in damages” as a result of the decision by Toronto Council.