Oakville introduces licensing by-law to regulate UBER

Uber Driver looking from the back seat of a car driven by and UBER Driver
Oakville introduces licensing by-law to regulate UBER
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Gisele Shaw

Gisele Shaw

Gisele Shaw is the Manager of Corporate Communication for the town of Oakville since 2002. Prior to working for the town she worked for Halton Region as a communications specialist. She is a graduate of Humber College.

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At last night’s meeting, Monday, December 12, 2016 Town Council approved a new licensing by-law allowing Transportation Network Companies (TNC) to operate legally in Oakville. The new regulations focus on health and safety as well as consumer protection, to ensure residents have safe, reliable and consistent transportation options when travelling in Oakville.

“We know that the app-based technology used by companies like UBER is here to stay, and that many Oakville residents already use these services,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “This new by-law ensures proper oversight of these services while addressing both community and consumer needs.”

The new by-law comes after a year of extensive research, best practice reviews of other municipal regulations, and public and stakeholder consultation to determine appropriate licensing options for TNCs. Oakville joins other cities in the province including Niagara Region, Ottawa, Toronto, and Waterloo Region to enact TNC licensing by-laws.

The town’s licensing framework places accountability on TNCs to ensure that any driver using their platform is operating in compliance with the town’s by-law. Regulations include:

  1. TNCs must provide the town’s Enforcement Services with driver and vehicle information to ensure electronic compliance checks can be done.
  2. An annual, tiered licensing fee structure that is based on the number of vehicles the TNC is operating in Oakville.
  3. TNCs must give passengers the cost range of the trip, description of the vehicle, license plate number, driver name and photo before the trip starts.
  4. Criminal reference checks for all drivers is mandatory.
  5. A safety standards certificate from a licensed Ontario mechanic for each vehicle operating under a TNC is required.
  6. All vehicles operating under a TNC must be identifiable with a window marking.
  7. Street hailing of TNC vehicles is prohibited. All trips must be booked in advance through the TNCs mobile app.
  8. TNCs are required to provide accessible mobile apps.
  9. The age limit of TNC vehicles is seven years.

With these regulations in place for TNCs, town staff will continue to assess the impact of ridesharing services on the taxi cab industry and will present a new taxi by-law to Council for consideration in 2018.

For more information on this new by-law, review the staff report in the December 5, 2016 Administrative Services Committee agenda and is item 10 on the agenda. Click on the title: Transportation Network Company Licensing By-law 2016-083 in the agenda and the links to the support materials will be shown on the right side of the page on oakville.ca.



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Readers Comments (3)

  1. David Lowe says:

    Thanks Rob. You need to get out more and use services like Uber. The local taxi firms are appalling and can’t possibly compete with the clean friendly personable timely safe service already provided by the likes of Uber. I always take time to get to know my Uber driver. The last one an immigrant from Afghansitan now a proud citizen who was working in an Oakville Pizza store for a local owner who was using this mans identity for tax fraud with members of his family – Uber set him free and now he pays local taxes unlike the local taxis.

    Now let’s look into local political contributions made by owners and operators of taxi firms to your team or maybe look into all the empty buses you send around our streets. Now that’s a story worth printing. But this paper is probably as tied to you Rob as you are to the local taxi firm.

  2. Bob Sandhar says:

    According to Canadians for Tax fairness, Uber, AirBnB and Amazon combined payed less in taxes to Canadian Govt than the average Canadian tax payer last year. Uber has not payed any licensing (municipal) fees and has “negotiated” (demanded) a cheaper licensing cost than taxi and will continue to duck vehicle inspections from the municipality. They also will continue to not collect and remit HST. If government tax revenues from the for hire vehicle industry drop, who do you think will be asked to make up the difference? That’s right buddy, the average tax payer. as a non user of Uber and AirBnB I have zero interest in subsidizing Uber so that they can provide you with a cheaper ride. This whole licensing process has been a dog and pony show where weak politicians buckled to a large corporation who cherry picks only the profitable aspects of the industry.

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