Uber threatens to leave Toronto if City doesn’t alter course

Uber has sent a mass email to Toronto users stating that if ride-hailing restrictions are passed at the May 3 City Council Meeting, it will stop doing business in the city.

The email is titled “A Toronto without UberX,” and states that Torontonians will lose access to not only its unregulated UberX service, but also to all its other currently offered services, including UberWAV and UberEATS.

In addition, the email includes the link to a petition (signed by over 68,000 people at press time) as well as a link that directs users to email their local councillor.

The beginning of the email reads: “Toronto, your ride is at risk. Last week, the Licensing and Standards Committee voted to force Uber out of Toronto. If City Council votes the same way on May 3, Toronto will lose ridesharing (uberX) and the benefits that come with it.”

This is followed by a bulleted list of the Uber services currently operating in the city. The company’s petition page elaborated on the email: “On May 3-4, City Council will be voting on ridesharing regulations. This is the most important vote that will determine the future of ridesharing in the city. There will be loud voices on the other side of the debate that want to stop progress. They want to reverse the gains we’ve made in transportation in the last 4 years. We think this is wrong. Toronto should join other progressive cities around the world by embracing ridesharing and the benefits it brings to cities.”

Uber spokesperson Susie Heath first warned of this approach to Metroland Media earlier in the week, stating, “If these amendments are passed at the City Council Meeting on May 3, Toronto will lose ridesharing and all the benefits that come with it.”

The company has followed through on similar ultimatums in Calgary and Edmonton.

At the May 3 meeting council members will vote on amendments proposed by the Municipal Licensing and Standards Committee (ML&S) that would severely restrict ride-sharing.

Update: MobileSyrup received a copy of Uber’s email to Toronto users after this article was first posted. It has been updated with detailed content from that email and from Uber’s petition page.

[source]Inside Toronto[/source]