They’re at it again.
Angry Toronto cab drivers are planning to clog the downtown streets with over 2,000 cabs in protest against ride-sharing service Uber today.
Taxi and limousine drivers already met earlier this morning to rally at four locations across the city, City News reports. Those locations were:
– Woodbine Centre (Rexdale/Hwy 27),
– Food Basics at Victoria Park and Sheppard.
– Centrepoint Mall at Yonge and Steeles.
– Queen’s Quay and Yonge.
— Sahar (@SaharActually) December 9, 2015
The vehicles are planning to make their way up to Queen’s Park and Toronto City Hall around noon, and will continue to circle the buildings in protest (hint: stay the hell away from Queen’s Park and City Hall today).
About 30 taxis at Yonge/queens quay so far – just 1 of 4 T.O. starting locations for moving protest starting at 8am pic.twitter.com/aylfDZLGya
— Melanie Ng (@CityMelanie) December 9, 2015
While the flow of traffic in the downtown core is currently moving at a tolerable pace, the blare of cab horns are already filling the air.
Sam Moini, president of the Fleet Operators Association hopes today’s protest doesn’t affect the public too much.
“I hope it doesn’t disrupt the public to the extent of, you know, where people can’t move around. But I’m sure it will,” said Moini.
“We’re hoping that … the public is affected as little as possible. But we have to do something. Something has to be done to show this city that, you know, the industry is suffering. We are suffering.”
— Giancarlo De Santis (@citygiancarlo) December 9, 2015
Toronto council has said they will begin to draft new rules that will regulate both Uber and taxis, but until then, Uber will continue to operate.
Uber spokesperson Susie Heath said the traffic disruption caused by the protest is counterproductive and “open collaboration is the best path forward.”
Heath also said Uber more interested in working towards new regulations, “rather than disrupting traffic during the busy holiday season.”
Today’s protest follows a 72-hour hunger strike led by three cab drivers at Nathan Phillips Square last week, which resulted in one driver being taken to hospital.
But with the lack of cabs available today, we can only assume people looking to catch a ride will turn to Uber.
So, to review, the plan is to cause a traffic jam and force customers to use the very competition you’re protesting? Well played cabs, well played…