Uber launches Toronto taxi service after successful venture into limos

Daniel Bader

August 31, 2012 2:19pm

Uber Toronto announced today that it is expanding its core Toronto service of limos and black town cars to a fleet of taxi cabs. After a successful pilot of its taxi service in Chicago, Uber is expanding to Toronto in hopes of bringing a better experience to a city that desperately needs it.

For those who aren’t familiar with Uber, it’s an on-demand taxi/limo/black car service that operates primarily from a smartphone. With apps for iOS and Android, and a compatible HTML 5-based mobile web interface for BlackBerry and Windows Phone, the company allows you to book a car at any time of day. While the limo service is traditionally quite expensive, the new cabs are metred the same way as existing Toronto vehicles, but add a mandatory 20% gratuity to every ride. This fee goes to the drivers, many of whom desperately need the added fare.

If you recall recently, we talked about Uber delivering ice cream trucks to sweaty Torontonians earlier this summer. The project was a massive success, and further brought the company into the spotlight of many Canadians.

If you want to try Uber’s new taxi service in Toronto, hit up Google Play or the iTunes App Store for more details.

  • Sam

    Taxi drivers in downtown are already crazy enough and now they will get race even more for customer.

  • Tom

    “but add a mandatory 20% gratuity to every ride. This fee goes to the drivers, many of whom desperately need the added fare”

    Why did you write that? Are you aware that Toronto is notorious for some of the highest taxi rates?

    If a driver is desperate it is because he is having to fork over most of the fare to the owner of the taxi license, and the solution to that is obvious to all except the councillors who get paid off to not change anything.

    Usually, the efficiencies brought about by technology (e.g. your smartphone) lead to better prices and more efficient competition. Odd that we see the opposite here – well, maybe not that odd given the corrupt state of the Toronto taxi market.

    • HerpDerp

      >many of whom desperately need the added fare

      Toronto Taxi’s are ridiculously high compared to just about anywhere, I like this blog, but it is annoying when it just prints press releases like this.

  • Ridiculous

    It’s not “gratuity” if the amount is already included. Gratuity should be EARNED.

  • Brian G

    I guess they had to guarantee the gratuity to get drivers since there is now taxi app competition in T.O.

  • derpderp

    Whoever complaining about high taxi fares, please drive taxi for a week at night in Toronto, Let’s just say around club district. Then talk about being it expensive. Also talk to our fat mayor about high taxi rates. We Should appreciate taxi drivers who tolerate our stupid drunk a**es and get us home safe. Even listen to our racist and degrading comments. Just a thought. Just a thought.

  • Travis

    This is wrong…Uber is Illegal Operation
    Are they register with Rev -Canada and do they have the right insurance ?????!?!?!

    Of course not as they don’t own any cars …they send it to brokers and a small owner operators.

    Not to mention : what do you think you will get for $20.00 a state of the art service and limo .NOOOOOOOOOOO you get what you pay for.

    This project of APP is fine for a small transfer with an 3 to 5 KM but when you are a CEO of some company …This is not what you want !!

  • V Carter

    Just try it out, Uber app is a far superior way to get a ride than standing on a street corner trying to hail a cab.
    I signed up using the promo code: ubertdot and got $10 to try out the service for myself. No complaints here. Safe and efficient way to get around.

  • Daburton

    Uber is amazing! They even provide free $20 rides for first time users with the code c5a45