MPP Singh issued a statement on the recent taxi protests that erupted in Toronto's downtown core, in regards to the contentious ridesharing service, Uber.
Yesterday, Taxi Drivers from across the GTA gathered in downtown Toronto to protest the ride-sharing service Uber. They raised a number of issues; however their primary concerns dealt with Uber X, public safety and fairness.
While recent advances in technology have opened a new market for the sharing economy, we have to ensure that this economy is fair and just. We must ensure that the government implements policies and regulations, which protect the public.
With respect to Uber X, Taxi Drivers highlighted concerns regarding transparency and accountability of drivers as well as concerns with respect to the safety of passengers and the public in general.
Taxi drivers are professional service providers, who operate licensed vehicles that meet municipal standards for safety and inspection, must meet driving licensing requirements, are accountable for the service they provide and contribute back to society through fees and taxes.
On the other the hand, there are safety concerns that have been raised around the world with respect to Uber X drivers and vehicles. These safety concerns impact not only the passengers but the broader public as well.
In addition to the safety concerns, Taxi Drivers raised concerns around the lack of fairness with respect to the unequal application of the law. While the taxi industry is highly regulated, Uber X operates without the same level of scrutiny.
Moving forward we must continue to support innovation as the backbone for the knowledge economy. However it is crucial that all levels of government ensure that advancements service delivery do not compromise public safety or principles of fairness.
In this light, I call on Mayor Tory to work towards a fair resolution of the Taxi Drivers’ concerns, and for all levels of government to take a fair approach towards balancing innovation with fair, sensible public policy.
Photo by Chris Helgren / Reuters.