In Toronto, cab drivers have been clogging the streets in a protest of the popular ride-sharing service Uber. The situation has even turned violent at times, as some cab drivers have started conducting assaults on the vehicles of Uber drivers.
In an effort to get city politicians to enforce Toronto bylaws, hundreds of cab drivers throughout the Greater Toronto Area converged their vehicles at various points in downtown Toronto, including city hall.
Currently, the city is working on establishing new laws to put stronger regulations on services like Uber. However, the city’s cab drivers claim that current bylaws mean that some services from Uber are operating in an illegal manner.
The Mayor of Toronto John Tory said last month that although Uber is operating outside legislation, it would simply be impractical to devote the law enforcement resources to shut the service down entirely.
Meanwhile, Uber is causing major problems for the city’s taxi industry. According to cab drivers, their business has greatly fallen off ever since the unlicensed and lower-priced competitor arrived on the scene. The prices of Uber are not regulated by bylaws, unlike the price of cabs in the city.
In one instance of the protest, a taxi driver was dragged more than 20 meters in the city’s downtown area near city hall after the driver confronted an Uber driver. A spokesperson from Uber’s Canadian division called the incident “frightening”.
The taxi driver, who said that he has been working in the industry for more than 22 years, allegedly confronted the Uber driver of a white Honda Civic while they were stopped at a traffic light. He started pounding on the window of the Honda, and he made an attempt to open the car door.
From there, the Uber driver sped off, dragging the taxi driver in the process. The taxi driver was not harmed in the incident. He said that he was trying to get a point across to the Uber driver.
Uber Canada has since spoken with the driver that dragged the cabbie, as well as a passenger who was in the Honda at the time. It is unknown if any actions were taken by Uber following the incident.
Mayor Tory has since asked the cab drivers to step down from their protest. He said that the dragging incident was “profoundly unacceptable”.