Slowly but surely London is moving closer to creating a by-law to deal with Uber.
More than a year after it first arrived in the city by surprise, a city committee is set to review a staff recommendation on the topic next Tuesday.
The staff report, to be reviewed by the community and protective services committee, recommends Uber and traditional cabs be regulated under one category.
The staff recommendation comes on the heels of a public participation meeting held last month and a poll that was commissioned by the city that found nearly two-thirds of Londoners think taxis, limousines and Uber should all follow the same rules.
The report could receive push back from the high-profile tech firm as it would effectively ban surge pricing.
City staff say drivers should be allowed to reduce fares but at no time will fares be increased above maximum approved tariffs. Uber has used surge pricing to increase the cost of a ride at times of high demand. The proposed regulation would permit brokers to negotiate fare agreements with employers, institutions and associations as long as the maximum approved tariffs are not exceeded.
The report recommends the same liability insurance and safety requirements apply to personal vehicles for hire and taxi’s.
If approved by the committee and council, anyone driving for Uber or a personal vehicle for hire would be required to purchase and install working interior and forward facing cameras.
However, the emergency light that is currently required for all taxis, wouldn’t be included in the by-law.
City hall would also drop medical exams and requirements for English-language testing from the current by-law.
Vehicle inspections would be required for older-model vehicles.
Edmonton became the first city in Canada earlier this year to legalize Uber when they created a new category for ride-sharing companies.
The community and protective services committee will review the report next week. It will go before full council the week after.