Uber: Suspended in Edmonton, prices raised during Toronto transit delay

by | Mar 1, 2016 | Biz/Tech, News

Natalia Vega

Uber services have been suspended in Edmonton in retaliation to the province’s refusal to grant proper insurance to drivers from the ride-sharing service. And other cities including Toronto are watching to see what happens.

The suspension began Tuesday morning at 6 a.m. MT

“Uber will continue to work with officials in Alberta in the hopes of bringing ride-sharing back to Edmonton soon.” -Ramit Kar

The requirement for Uber drivers to have proper insurance comes as part of Edmonton’s new ride-sharing bylaw implemented Tuesday. 

However, insurance will not be given to drivers until July 1.  

Ramit Kar, Uber’s General Manager for Alberta said in an e-mail statement to Humber News that forcing Uber to suspend their services costs Edmonton families a source of income and local riders a transportation alternative.

“Uber will continue to work with officials in Alberta in the hopes of bringing ride-sharing back to Edmonton soon,” said Kar. “The city bylaw applies within the city limits of Edmonton, we will continue to enable ride-sharing services in surrounding areas.”

Having proper insurance to act as a ride-hailing service is just one of the requirements enforced by the new bylaw. Drivers are also expected to go through a full police background check and have a class 4 licence.

The events in Edmonton are also having an effect in Toronto.

Tracey Cook, Executive Director of Municipal Licensing and Standards for the City of Toronto, said that the city will take what’s happening in Edmonton into consideration as they proceed in an ongoing review of city transportation services.

“Stakeholder meetings are continuing and staff are working on the review, which will be presented, with recommendations, to the Licensing & Standards Committee on April 14,” said Cook in an emailed statement.

Massive delay in Toronto

Uber has continued to provide services in Toronto, coming as an alternative along with taxis for commuters who faced massive delays on TTC subway and streetcar lines Tuesday morning.

However, some people said Uber took advantage of the opportunity by raising the prices. 

“Fares were up three times the normal price in some areas,” Global News reported. 

Although the delays were caused by a power outage, the ride-hailing service may see an increase in revenue Tuesday evening with the weather warnings taking effect.