Uber faces fines in ongoing battle with City of Toronto

Karygiannis, pointing to the recent court ruling that appears to side with Uber against the city of Toronto, warns the app’s users that operating an unlicensed taxi service makes them liable.

Coun. Jim Karygiannis claims that Uber passengers could face a penalty of up to $20,000 for using the ride-hailing service.

Karygiannis’ warning comes just one day after Uber launched uberPOOL in Toronto, a carpooling option it says will help reduce gridlock and emissions during the Pan Am Games.

The city has begun issuing fines against drivers of the ride-sharing service Uber.

The charges carry fines between $300 and $500 however Uber, which is based in San Francisco last week sent letters to its drivers, assuring them that the company would pay for any bylaw tickets they receive.

UberPool is an extension of UberX specifically aimed at filling cars with enough people to use the HOV lanes that the city of Toronto have set aside for licensed taxis or private vehicles containing three or more people during the PanAm Games. “The Provincial Offences Act maximum fine is $5,000”, said Tracy Cook, executive director for municipal licensing and standards, as quoted in the National Post.

City council responded by voting in favour of a motion calling for city officials to crack down on Uber. “It’s also a great way to combat illegal passenger carriers, and we hope that other cab companies will follow suit by innovating as well”. Toronto Mayor John Tory, which has sounded sympathetic to Uber in the past, was the lone vote against that measure.

“I believe [the court ruling] took Uber, the company, off the hook, and put UberX passengers and drivers into the frying pan”, said Karygiannis, who has been an unwavering supporter of the taxi industry in its fight against Uber. Under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act passengers can be charged. He said the passengers are therefore responsible.

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