Kingston Uber bylaw now subject of ongoing investigation

Published: November 2, 2018

Updated: November 15, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Kingston is working towards bringing Uber and Lyft to customers in the municipality, but new regulations introduced in a recently passed bylaw have left Uber drivers unregulated.

The bylaw mandated Uber drivers to comply with the new regulations by Sept. 15, but Uber drivers have not been able to comply. Global News reports the bylaw has now been stalled and the Canadian Competition Bureau is rumored to be investigating the Kingston Area Taxi Commission’s Bylaw 4.

Uber driver James Litchfield says he filed a complaint and has been in contact with an investigator.

“He believes that there be something in there, I don’t know what, but there was definitely some stuff in there that was worth looking into for them,” says Litchfield.

Now the Taxi Commission has held the bylaw, although has not confirmed if the delay is because of an investigation. Board member Chloe Draeger says there are things than need to be changed.

“Many of the provisions of bylaw 4 did not create level playing field, it actually created a playing field that favoured the taxi industry,” says Draeger.

Among the rules within the regulations include a high registration fee of between $600 – $900 for the first year and half that amount for subsequent years. As for Uber, it and every other ride-sharing companies would have to pay $40,000 to register and operate in Kingston.

Kingston’s bylaw also limits the number of cars working in a 24-hour period to 50 cars, while ride-sharing companies will be prohibited from offering wheelchair access vehicles.