It turns out that Torontonians are perfectly happy with Uber just the way it is.
A hypothetical proposal to keep Uber unlicensed is supported by a majority of Toronto residents, according to a nationwide poll conducted by Postmedia and Mainstreet Research.
According to The Star, the poll had a “sample size of 7,323. The cities included were Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Quebec City and London. The margins of error varied for each city, but were no more than +/-3.7 per cent, 19 times out of 20.”
In a narrow margin between both sides, the poll found that 45 per cent of Torontonians are in favour of allowing Uber drivers to continue driving without a municipal license, while 37 per cent believe they should be banned.
Not surprisingly, when the responses were categorized by age, Uber fared a lot better with the younger crowd. Among those 18-24, 73 per cent supported the service, compared with only 22 per cent of those 65 and older. It makes sense. Not only our smartphones a favourite ‘accessory’ for the younger, more tech-savvy demographic, a regular cab can be damn expensive on a student budget.
“Our findings show that most people are paying close attention to the situation between Uber and taxis, with those most aware of the situation favouring Uber. However, Torontonians still hold a generally positive view of taxis,” Quito Maggi, president of Mainstreet, said in a release.
The poll also found that most Toronto residents feel taxis are safer than Uber vehicles. While a high 85 per cent of respondents felt that taxis were safe, only 48 per cent felt the same when it came to Uber.
At the end of the day though, according to Maggi, “people want cabs and Uber to get along.”
If only it was that easy – in Toronto and cities across the world, the ride-share service faces backlash from the taxi industry and local governments over concerns that the company is skirting certain local bylaws through its mobile app to charge riders for fares.
As for Toronto, the city will review its taxi bylaws next month to include services like Uber. It should be very interesting.