Uber warns of higher prices and longer wait times following Toronto’s decision to freeze new licences and increase penalties to cover the costs of extra screening.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said Tuesday the company is working with transit agencies to mitigate the negative impact of Toronto’s decision to freeze new licences and increase penalties to cover the costs of extra screening.
Mayor John Tory told CBC Toronto that the decision to freeze new licences was in response to a spike in demand for rides in mid-June, when the city imposed the ban on the new licence.
During the height of the demand, Uber suspended its operations and rerouted drivers to other Uber competitors, and did not begin re-opening until the deadline was met, he said.
Uber is “working with transit agencies to mitigate the negative impact of this decision and keep drivers in the streets,” Khosrowshahi said in an email. “We’re committed to ensuring that drivers continue to get great service from the thousands of people who use Uber in Toronto.”
In a statement, the TTC said it’s trying to help drivers by allowing them to come on Line 1, the route that was shut down by the city to avoid the new licensing freeze.
While the TTC has increased the amount of time drivers have to hand out rides, Khosrowshahi said that they are working with municipalities to ensure that drivers get the help they need.
“These measures are meant to help drivers get back on the road as quickly as possible, but it’s clear the impact of this freeze was felt by everyone,” he said.
The TTC said it is also meeting with the City of Toronto and City of Toronto’s Emergency Management spokesperson.
Uber launches in Toronto
As of late Tuesday, Toronto had more than 300 Uber drivers, according to the company.
Uber has also seen growth in ridership in Toronto, as well as in nearby Richmond Hill, according to statistics released on Wednesday by the company.
Between May and June