Uber’s rise in Canada caught governing and regulatory bodies off guard and there has been a scramble to sort out the mess. Greater Sudbury is being urged to avoid such confusion by preparing in advance for the UberX service to arrive in the city.
Ward 9 councilor Deb McIntosh thinks the situation seen in other jurisdictions can be avoided and is pressing Greater Sudbury to prepare now. She has tabled a motion that would see the city’s current taxi bylaws assessed to gauge how the arrival of Uber in the Sudbury area could affect the city. She has called for the city staff to report back in spring with their findings.
Over the last year Uber has risen in Canada’s major cities, most of the time receiving a less than warm welcome when doing so. Regulators were caught off guard and the result sees Uber Canada operating without any regulatory license, its drivers effectively operating illegally and without sufficient auto insurance.
While the country is slowly moving towards accepting Uber, it is clear that when the ride-sharing service enters a new market it brings plenty of discord with it. McIntosh thinks this could be avoided in Great Sudbury.
“I’m hoping to avoid what’s happening in other cities,” McIntosh told the Sudbury Star. “That was the instigation for me to put this motion forward, to prevent conflict. I wanted us to be proactive rather than reactive and just waiting until it gets here.”
Uber’s expansion in Canada has been rapid and the service is currently available in 12 cities around the country, with a focus in Ontario. The U.S. based company said there are no plans to expand to Sudbury, but it seems covering the entire province is a logical goal.
“While we don’t have specific launch plans for Sudbury at the moment, I can tell you that Uber aims to expand to communities across Canada and we’re always looking at what’s next,” said Susie Heath, an Uber representative.