Uber Toronto operating in legal grey area until July 15

Though the ridesharing giant won its desired regulatory terms from the Toronto City Council on May 3, Uber is still operating in an unregulated limbo until July 15, when the terms come in to effect.

What’s more the city’s head of licensing, Tracey Cook, told the Toronto Star via a spokesperson that charges against UberX drivers laid in recent months while the service was operating illegally will not be dropped.

“All charges related to the operation of Uber and its drivers will continue through the appropriate court processes,” the statement said, “They are not being withdrawn due to council’s decision.”

No UberX drivers have received penalties so far, however, and chances seem slim that any will be charged now that the city has given the green light to ridesharing services.

The new regulations for private transportation companies, or PTCs, include an increased base fare for ridesharing, a more rigorous standard for PTC certification, controlled in part by the city, and the opportunity for taxis to use surge pricing.

Interestingly, one of the city’s largest taxi services, Beck, has already stated it will not take advantage of that opportunity in a Twitter response.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said he was pleased with decision in a statement made at the City Hall.

“I believe this motion represents the best possible way to do the two things I have talked about, which is to regulate these companies that have come into the marketplace and to make sure that the taxi industry can survive and thrive going forward.”

Ian Black, Uber Canada’s general manager, told MobileSyrup, ‘We’re certainly pleased. This is a great day for the riders in the city of Toronto, a great day for drivers as well using the Uber platform.”

Related reading: After months of debate, the City of Toronto legalizes Uber

[source]Toronto Star[/source]