Author: Linda

Uber freezes new ride-hailing licence approvals after Star story

Uber freezes new ride-hailing licence approvals after Star story

Uber warns of higher prices and longer wait times following Toronto’s decision to freeze new licences for ride-hailing companies, Toronto Star reports.

Uber is to begin accepting new licences from city licensing staff Wednesday, while continuing to offer existing ones in an effort to reduce wait times and keep riders from going home and driving a car again. The policy also was due to begin in May but was delayed after city council became the first in the province to vote to ban ride-hailing apps amid a data-collection scandal.

In the wake of the Star’s story, Uber’s chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, blamed his company’s decision to freeze new ride-hailing licence approvals on a lack of certainty about the city’s taxi regulations.

“We are prepared to do anything it takes to get the regulations right,” he said “The reality is we thought we had all the answers on the day we were first certified by the city, but we didn’t.”

“The city didn’t want to deal with us,” Khosrowshahi said. His company has faced repeated inquiries from city staff after several ride-hailing apps failed to respond to city inspection requirements.

“The decision was made last week,” said City of Toronto spokesperson Brad Ross. “We are not going to rush this through.”

In February, city staff said the city would be able to regulate ride-hailing companies’ licensing as a “taxicab” service because Uber and other companies weren’t deemed to be in the same class as taxis. Uber, which has received almost $2 billion in financing since its inception in 2009, has a monopoly on the ride-hailing market.

Under the city’s new system, ride-hailing apps will be able to apply for new licences in November, but they’ll have to first submit applications and comply with the city’s other regulations. Applications will be accepted until May 15, 2019. Companies will

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