TORONTO – Uber Canada has given its drivers in Toronto an added incentive to keep their wheels on the road by telling them the ride-sharing company will pay for their bylaw tickets.
“If you receive a bylaw ticket for driving on the Uber platform, please email us and we will take care of it,” Uber Canada said in an email to its drivers a day after city council voted to review taxi regulations and begin strict enforcement of bylaws.
Uber Canada spokesperson Susie Heath said in a statement to Global News that the company “will always stand behind the hardworking community of driver partners in Toronto.”
“We don’t believe that the burden of enforcement of outdated regulations should fall on individual drivers,” she said.
Mayor John Tory said this week the ride-hailing service is operating outside of the city’s current bylaws and is promising swift action to bring a level playing field for both Uber and cab drivers.
But until then, Uber is encouraging its drivers to go about their business as usual.
“Until new regulations are written, there may be a few cases of ticketing for non-criminal bylaw infractions (with no demerit points or record),” Uber said in the email to drivers.
“We will continue working closely with Mayor Tory and Council to ensure any changes to bylaws are good for UberX drivers.”
The heated battle between the taxi industry, city officials and Uber comes just days after an Ontario judge dismissed an application to halt the ride-hailing service.
Superior Court Judge Sean Dunphy said in his ruling that there is “no evidence” the company is operating as a taxi broker or that it breached city bylaws.
But the taxi industry remains convinced Uber is consciously flouting the law by keeping its drivers on the road.
“You wouldn’t see restaurants opening and refusing to take health inspections, refusing to have a liquor license,” said Beck Taxi operations manager Christine Hubbard on Thursday. “We’re doing the same work. We all have to follow the rules.”