Uber launches $5 uberHOP rides for Toronto commuters

Uber is launching a new transit option in Toronto, aimed at helping people travel popular downtown routes for a flat rate of five dollars.

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UberHOP, the latest offering from the controversial ride-sharing app, allows up to five commuters to share a ride into or out of the city's Financial District.

When the uberHOP service officially begins in Toronto on Tuesday, it will be free for the first week.

Toronto is only the second city to test out the new program. The company also launched uberHOP in Seattle on Dec. 10.

Using the app, Toronto riders can pay five dollars for a lift between the Financial District and three other central areas: CityPlace, the Distillery District, Fort York and Liberty Village.

From 7 a.m. until 10 a.m. drivers will take passengers into the Financial District using larger vehicles and SUVs. And from 4:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m., uberHOP will offer rides out of the district.

According to a press release from the company, uberHOP's flat-fee averages out to be 40 per cent cheaper than the company's uberX option.

This isn't the first time Uber has chosen Toronto to experiment with new initiatives.

Last week, the company expanded UberEATS in the city, quadrupling the food delivery service's operating hours and launching a new stand-alone app.

But not every Torontonian has welcomed the company's presence.

Last Wednesday, local taxi drivers held a 12-hour protest calling for the city to crack down on Uber.

The massive demonstration held up traffic on major routes, and led to the arrest of one driver.

A police officer was also injured when a cab struck his bike.

Now, the uberHOP launch has caught the attention of the city's public transit commission.

Brad Ross, the head of corporate communications at the TTC said the commission plans to "review" uberHOP and how it could impact transit in the city.

The City of Toronto Act clearly says the TTC is responsible for all public transit, Ross said.

He added that 1.8 million people currently take the TTC every weekday.

With files from CTV Toronto


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