No Decision on Uber Yet in Mississauga

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Uber users in Mississauga who were anxious to hear the verdict of today's general committee meeting on the legalization of the ridesharing service will have to wait a little longer, as no decision will be made until May 11.

Judging by a recent article in The Mississauga News, it looks like today’s fraught meeting resulted in more passionate arguing than problem solving.

To sum up what's been happening (just in case you haven't been paying attention to our coverage -- and monumental Cersei Lannister-style shame on you if you haven't), the city's public vehicle advisory committee (PVAC) recently recommended against legalizing Uber (at least under the popular ridesharing company's terms). PVAC suggested that the city require Uber to register as a broker and abide by the regulations that are already in place for traditional cabs and limos.

That suggestion didn't work for Uber and it didn't work for Mayor Bonnie Crombie either. Crombie has been vocal about leveling the playing field for ridesharing operations and cabbies and is in no rush to essentially force Uber out of the city (Uber pulled out of Calgary after city council passed similar regulations).

While a decision on the fate of the company -- which was just legalized in Toronto -- was expected to come down today, no such thing happened. In fact, according to The News, today's meeting resulted in taxicab drivers threatening to actively campaign against Crombie in the next election and city council ultimately deciding to defer a decision until more information could be made available to all members of council.

The situation has no doubt been a monumental headache for councillors who have to juggle the interests of the taxi industry and regular citizens (and voters) who use and support the popular ridesharing company. While it's easy to understand council's reticence to act decisively right this second, it's good to see the mayor championing a progressive solution that incorporates Uber into the city's transportation-for-hire framework.

It also made sense for Crombie to add that Mississauga should keep Toronto's decision to legalize in mind going forward. While Mississauga is its own city and can and should approach the issue independently, it makes sense to consider the benefits of keeping ridesharing regulations somewhat static within the GTA. Doing so would ease Uber travel between TO and Sauga, something local UberX riders would certainly appreciate. According to The News, Crombie also said that, should the city legalize Uber, regulations on taxis would be relaxed so that they can better compete.

It seems likely that, in the wake of the deferral, Uber will prompt users to continue to fight for their organization on their behalf. As we reported yesterday, Uber recently sent an email to users asking them to contact city council to express their support for ridesharing in Mississauga.

Although council asked Uber to suspend operations while it worked on a regulatory solution, it has continued to provide service to customers in Mississauga.

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