Monday, February 26, 2024
Toronto has 55,000 rideshare vehicles where it used to have 5,500 Taxis.
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Uber needs suckers, and for Council to ignore business taken from TTC

“You realize that Uber’s desire to rule is literally in their name, right?”

–Taxi news Survey

Uber needs suckers

“Uber needs suckers,” Vazken Kerametlian says of Uber Canada’s December 4th lawsuit against the City of Toronto, which recently voted to cap the number of rideshares while it studies the situation. Toronto currently has about 55,000 rideshare vehicles cruising the streets, where it had 5,500 Taxis in 2016.

A limo driver for almost 50 years, Kerametlian points out that it takes the average new Uber driver only a couple of months to figure out that they are making a small fraction of the money they had hoped to earn, while wearing out their personal autos.

“Uber throws lots of business at them the first couple of weeks to make them think they can make a living; that starts to slow down as Uber needs to constantly bring on new drivers in order to meet consumer demand. By the time they realize they’re earning less than minimum wage, their cars are worn out and they are stuck.”

Kerametlian talked to Taxi News about the December 7th survey, “What do you think of the Uber lawsuit?” Uber claims that Toronto’s failure to provide notice of change to city regulations has deprived it of an “open and transparent process and the opportunity for public debate.”

“Uber is in a constant state of churn. It can’t survive without a steady stream of new drivers and the cars they own and maintain. However, drivers cannot earn a living in a market with 55,000 rideshares, a market that used to be comfortably served by 5,500 Taxis. Toronto’s cap at 55,000 rideshares will kill Uber as they lose thousands of drivers to attrition every month.”

The City is getting what it deserves, but Uber doesn’t deserve what it got.”

–Taxi News survey

Uber needs Council to forget TTC deficits

“Uber’s lawsuit gives them a way to avoid talking about the damage rideshare has done to the TTC,” points out Neil Shorey of City Taxi.

“Council will be looking at a new budget soon, the first one for Olivia Chow, and if they bother to look they will see the revenues missing from the TTC are coincidentally just about exactly the amount Uber has taken from the market: $60 million dollars.

“Sure, Uber took business from the Taxi industry, but even more of their riders are people who used to take the TTC. Almost every revenue problem the TTC has, can be attributed to rideshare. Obviously, Uber would rather have Councillors talking about their nonsense lawsuit during Budget talks, rather than how much Uber is costing the TTC.”

Shorey describes speaking at a TTC Board meeting some years ago at which he attempted to show the math to Board members on how much Uber was going to cost Toronto’s Transit Service.

“They cut off my microphone,” he recalls wryly. “That Mayor, and that Council, did not want to hear the bad news about rideshare scooping transit riders and transit cash from the system. Maybe things have changed.”

If Councillors spend the upcoming pre-budget period to discussing the Uber lawsuit instead of how much money rideshare has siphoned away from the TTC, then the lawsuit will have done its job, Shorey suggests: “Whether they win or lose the lawsuit, is not the point. They need to get Councillors off of talking about TTC losses.”

“Toronto gave Uber the Keys to City.

Now they’re unhappy because they can no longer lock their doors.”



“It’s unbelievable that the former Tory communications person is talking about ‘on the floor of council’ ‘illegal,’ motions, it’s too much,” says Kristine Hubbard, Operations Manager of Beck Taxi. Hubbard was at Toronto Council in 2014, 2015 and 2016 as then-Mayor John Tory rammed through motions and then by-laws which the Taxi industry considered to be flagrantly biased in favour of Uber. “It’s comical that they would do this.”
Photo: Beck Taxi