February 12, 2016 4:34 am
Updated: February 12, 2016 7:40 am

Don’t ban Uber, regulate it: poll

WATCH ABOVE: Call it an Uber breakthrough. Edmonton has become the first city in Canada to pass bylaws allowing the ride-sharing service to operate. Mike Drolet looks at whether Edmonton's decision gives a green light to other Canadian cities.

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TORONTO – An Angus Reid Institute online poll has found that most respondents don’t support banning Uber, but would like to see the ride-hailing service regulated like much like the taxi industry.

Two-thirds of the 1,503 people who responded to the poll conducted late last month said Uber should be regulated. But more than 70 per cent said they were open to Uber operating in their communities, with only one in six saying they’d support an Uber ban.

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Only one in 10 of the respondents said they’d actually used sharing-economy companies like Uber and Airbnb, although they were familiar with them.

The poll is being released as taxi drivers in Toronto have called off plans for anti-Uber protests to coincide with the NBA’s upcoming all-star weekend festivities in the city.

Earlier this week, Montreal taxi and limousine drivers targeted the city’s airport part of their protest against Uber, promising to increase pressure tactics if the company doesn’t suspend operations.

Taxi drivers in Toronto, Montreal and other Canadian cities argue that Uber is unfairly sapping their business because it isn’t subject to the same fees and regulations that govern the taxi industry.

There was a generational divide among the respondents to the online survey, with those younger expressing more support for an unfettered Uber than older respondents.

The survey’s respondents are part of the Angus Reid Forum, a 130,000-member panel of Canadians who participate in surveys and discussions. Angus Reid says the forum comprises of people in each major demographic group, and respondents receive a small monetary incentive – from $1 to $5 – for completing each survey.

The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

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