Mississauga gives Uber one week to shut down
Mississauga council is going to wait one week for Uber to shut down or else it will scrap a proposed pilot program.
Uber and other ride-sharing companies have until this coming Wednesday to shut down operations in Mississauga or else the city will pull the plug on a proposed pilot program to allow such businesses to compete with traditional taxis.
“They responded, which I felt was a sign of progress and a show of good will,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie, after Wednesday’s council meeting, referring to a letter from Uber to the city indicating the company wishes to cooperate.
Last week council banned all ride-sharing companies from operating unless they follow the same rules as traditional taxis, but left the door open with the possibility of new rules to be worked out under the pilot program.
Councillor Carolyn Parrish, who does not want any transportation businesses picking up passengers in the city unless they follow the exact same rules as taxis, said the pilot should be killed.
“I don’t like Uber, I don’t want them.” Parrish said that a motion passed last week stated clearly that all ride-sharing companies were directed to cease operation with the passage of the council resolution, before a pilot were to proceed. Since Uber has failed to do so, and continues to operate, she said Wednesday that plans for the pilot should be scrapped.
Uber Canada spokesperson Susie Heath did not specifically say Wednesday whether the company will pull out of Mississauga by next week. She told the Star, however, that the company already has 100,000 daily riders and 5,000 drivers in Mississauga: “That’s why we are committed to working with Mississauga City Council and staff and have requested an earlier date for recommendations on the framework for a pilot program.”
Heath went on to note that councils in Toronto, Edmonton and Ottawa had already passed “smart regulations that embrace ridesharing.”
Crombie said that the timing laid out in the motion was “nebulous” and Uber needed some time before it could consider shutting down, in order to have a pilot shaped by September.
In the letter to the city, Uber has asked for the September date, when the pilot details would be drafted, to be moved up, but was no more specific about timing.
Parrish indicated she is not happy with the letter. “They said they want to conduct a pilot under the same rules Toronto passed for them.” Parrish said she and Crombie also indicated they would dramatically limit the number of ride-sharing drivers under a pilot, possibly to 50 vehicles.