The Pan Am Games are creating a traffic nightmare in Toronto.
And in a city short of respectable transport infrastructure, there’s really not much anyone can do but grin and bear it throughout the remainder of the games – especially after city councillor Jim Karygiannis announced Uber passengers could face a penalty of up to $20,000 for using the ride-hailing service.
Uber recently announced a carpooling program that would take advantage of Toronto’s barren HOV lanes and allow riders to travel more efficiently through the city at fares cheaper than traditional taxis. UberPool, which operates on the UberX model that allows drivers to use their own cars to ferry riders, allows passengers heading on a similar route to share their ride and save money in doing so.
Many people are losing their minds over the practice for a variety of personal and business reasons, but Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act adds a legal roadblock for the company by deeming it an unlicensed taxi service. This, of course, is a global dilemma.
UberPool will be avilable free of charge today (Tuesday) for the evening rush hour, which is still a reliable option without having to worry about fines.
“Police won’t get involved in political issues,” says Toronto police spokesperson Mark Pugash; the matter needs to be dealt with at city hall and has to be enforced by bylaw officers, which is not likely to be done before the end of UberPool’s trial until July 26th.
The saga continues.