Mississauga Needs Uber
With over 5,000 drivers and 100,000 riders, ridesharing is a major contributor and enabler of Mississauga’s vibrant economy. Ridesharing is connecting people with safe, reliable rides and flexible earning opportunities that are growing the transportation pie in Mississauga, with taxi trips in 2015 up 7% from 2013 after more than year of Uber operating in the city.
Uber supports progressive regulations that address safety and consumer protection, while recognizing that ridesharing’s innovative technology makes it possible to focus on safety for riders and drivers before, during, and after every trip in ways that others can’t.
Over 70 jurisdictions around the world, including Edmonton just last month, have adopted regulations that make sense for ridesharing. While we believe that many aspects proposed in the staff report support the ridesharing model, there are some serious flaws that place unnecessary barriers on drivers’ ability to earn on the platform and riders’ access to reliable transportation.
- City-specific driver licensing doesn’t make sense from a regional transportation perspective. Over 100,000 Uber rides per week cross municipal boundaries in the GTA. Placing barriers on transportation across municipal boundaries dramatically decreases drivers’ earnings, hurts the reliability of transportation for riders and would have the unintended consequence of increasing congestion by causing drivers to “dead head” between trips.
- Requiring an English-language proficiency assessment or a valid Ontario secondary school graduation diploma are measures that discriminate against new Canadians by prohibiting them from accessing a flexible earning opportunity.
- Requiring a two-day driver training course would be a huge barrier for thousands of Mississauga residents looking to use a ridesharing platform to supplement their income, given that the majority of them have full-time jobs and and only rideshare for a few hours per week. And driver training courses have proven far less effective than in-app ratings at ensuring good service, as noted in the City of Ottawa’s report on customer service.
The City of Mississauga is proposing requirements that are onerous, expensive and do not reflect the benefits and inherent safety features of ridesharing. The City’s proposal doesn’t work for ridesharing because, unlike traditional taxi and limousines, ridesharing is dependent on the flexible nature of driver-partners and the fact that the vast majority of drivers rideshare on an occasional basis.
Uber wants to be regulated in a way that makes sense for the distinct model of ridesharing. That is why we are asking that city council to approve regulations that work with the unique business model of ridesharing.
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