Dec 15, 2015

By Jane Brown

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As Uber launches it’s new commuter service today, TTC lawyers are looking into whether UberHop is contravening the City of Toronto Act.

The new Uber service uses larger vehicles such as SUVs or minivans to pick up as many as 6 passengers along four different routes in Toronto, all headed for the financial district. Each passenger is charged a $5 flat rate.

TTC spokesman Brad Ross says the legal department will have a look at this business model and see if it fits in with the current legislation. The City of Toronto Act gives the TTC the right to operate all public transportation services with a few exceptions such as tour buses, school buses and free shuttle services.

TTC Chair Josh Colle told Zoomer Radio’s Goldhawk Fights Back, it won’t be the TTC that shuts down UberHop if it’s illegal.

“We don’t regulate who can provide that,” Colle explained, “That’s up to our municipal licensing and the city, and Toronto Police and they’ll regulate it and enforce it as they see fit…What I would say, is we move almost two million people a day so the scope we’re talking about here is dramatically different…If our riders are finding that we’re not providing the service necessary and an UberHop can then exist, then we better do better as a city and as a transit authority.”

The UberHop service is aimed at residents of the many condo towers that have popped up in recent years. This tremendous population growth is putting pressure on transit, especially on the King Street streetcar route from Liberty Village, the city’s busiest route.

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