Toronto and indeed Canada are leading the way for other countries and cities around the globe with their attitudes towards controversial peer 2 peer drive sharing service Uber. With Toronto and insurance companies in Ontario blazing a trail, other nations are now turning their attention to the Great White North to see how to solve the Uber problem.
The province of Ontario and the city of Toronto are about to be among the first regions in the world to regulate Uber and place laws over the UberX service. This will open the door to solve one of the biggest issues for UberX drivers, a lack of viable auto insurance, with Intact Insurance preparing its own Uber specific coverage policy.
While there are still numerous stumbling blocks before the regulations kick in during 2016, not least opposition from traditional taxi drivers, Toronto and auto insurance companies in Ontario are showing the world how to co-exist with Uber. Several U.S. cities have followed a similar tactic and Canada is now showing that there is a definite cooling around the world with governments now looking to include UberX and not attempt to ban it.
An expert in e-commerce in Canada says that other cities in the country and around the world should look to adopt Uber and regulate it, because the company is here to stay regardless.
"This company is so big and so pervasive, it's like the internet of transportation," says John-Kurt Pliniussen of Queen's University's School of Business.
Uber is now valued at US$50 billion by Wall Street and is available in 300 cities across 58 countries and in Toronto alone there are 500,000 riders a month. A company that size will simply not go away says Pilniussen so cities around the world need to find ways to work with Uber.
"Most of the wise city councils are going to go the same way," Pliniussen said. "They're going to say, 'Yeah, we have to work with them, so let's just figure out what we want Uber to look like and let's get going.' "
Many cities are still trying their best to stop Uber. London, England recently proposed its own rules that would put major restrictions on the company, Rio de Janeiro completely banned the service last week. Italy and Spain are two large economic nations that have banned Uber entirely from their borders, while Paris authorities raided Uber’s office and two executives face five years in prison.
However, despite bands and other moves to kill Uber, the company continues to operate, even in places where it has been deemed illegal.