Tory calls uberHOP a 'marketplace response' to gaps in transit

Toronto Mayor John Tory says that a new ride-sharing service from Uber is a "marketplace response" to gaps in the TTC's service, and says it would be impractical for the city to shut down the company's operations.

See Full Article

Starting Tuesday, Uber will be testing out uberHOP in Toronto. The company says the new service is aimed at helping move people between the downtown financial district and three popular destinations, for a flat rate of five dollars.

The pilot program is expected to run for a few weeks.

Users of the service will join up to five other commuters to share a ride into or out of the city's Financial District and meeting spots in other central areas: City Place, 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, capable of carrying up to six passengers. And from 4:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m., uberHOP will offer rides out of the district.

UberHOP will be free for the first week.

In his comments Monday, Tory said that Uber is filling a void left by inadequate TTC coverage across the city.

"This is a marketplace response to a reality, which is that there are places in the city that are not as well served by public transportation as they need to be … to get people around, relieve congestion and preserve the environment," he said.

Tory added that last year the city put $100 million toward improving transit services, including in Liberty Village.

"We're going to do more, and we're going to do more with our partners in the province, Tory promise.

Tory said City of Toronto lawyers are gathering evidence about Uber's business and its impact, but are not yet recommending a second attempt to seek an injunction that would shut it down.

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.

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

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.

However, Uber's expansion in the city has not gone on without protest.

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

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.

The taxi industry has tried to institute new measures to compete with Uber. On Nov. 1, the base cab fare dropped by one dollar from $4.25 to $3.25, and on Monday the taxi industry unveiled a new app called ‘The Ride.’

With files from The Canadian Press and CTV Toronto



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Union representing 2,000 Quebec workers unsure about CSeries Airbus deal

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Quebec workers with Bombardier's CSeries plane program have mixed feelings about the deal with Airbus giving the European aerospace giant a controlling stake in the aircraft, a union representative said Tuesday. David Chartrand, Quebec co-ordinator for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, said the deal means access to a massive market and possibly more jobs. Source
  • Sears Canada's registered retirement plan appoints new administrator

    Economic CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- Morneau Shepell is taking over administration of Sears Canada Inc.'s registered retirement plan. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario says in a statement that the Ontario Superintendent of Financial Services appointed the human resources consulting and technology company after a competitive tendering process. Source
  • Liberals to narrow scope of passive-income measure for private corporations

    Economic CBC News
    The federal government is moving to pare down its controversial tax proposal on passive income so that it will only affect three per cent of private corporations. Finance Minister Bill Morneau will be in New Brunswick on Wednesday to unveil changes to his passive investment proposal so that it only targets unfair tax advantages used by the wealthy, a senior government official told The Canadian Press. Source
  • Freeland calls U.S. NAFTA demands 'troubling' and 'unconventional'

    Economic CBC News
    Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland accused the United States of deliberately trying to undermine the North American Free Trade Agreement, calling its list of unconventional proposals "troubling." Her remarks came during a tense joint news conference as the fourth round of NAFTA talks wrapped up in Arlington, Va. Source
  • Veteran investor booted from Sprott board after racist comments

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Veteran investor Marc Faber was asked to resign from the board of directors at Sprott Inc. after comments he made in his investment newsletter that America was better off because it was settled by white people instead of black people. Source
  • Veteran investor Marc Faber booted from 3rd company after racist comments

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Veteran investor Marc Faber has resigned his board seats at three companies based in Canada on Tuesday following comments he made in his investment newsletter that America was better off because it was settled by white people instead of black people. Source
  • Missouri appeals court tosses $72M US award in talcum powder case

    Economic CBC News
    A Missouri appeals court on Tuesday that vacated a $72 million US award to an Alabama woman who claimed her use of Johnson & Johnson products that contained talcum contributed to her ovarian cancer has thrown the fate of awards in similar cases into doubt. Source
  • Latest NAFTA round ends in a stalemate with plans to extend talks into 2018

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says NAFTA talks are being extended into 2018 -- a tacit admission that negotiators aren't going to meet their original deadline for a deal by year-end. The proposals tabled at the latest round have revealed huge chasms in negotiating positions, on everything from dairy and autos to even the basic architecture of an agreement -- and the tone of Tuesday's news conference made clear the talks have turned downright frosty. Source
  • Veteran investor Marc Faber booted from Sprott board after racist comments

    Economic CBC News
    Veteran investor Marc Faber was asked to resign from the board of directors at Sprott Inc. after comments he made in his investment newsletter that America was better off because it was settled by white people instead of black people. Source
  • White House says Fed search down to 5 finalists

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- A White House official says U.S. President Donald Trump has narrowed his search for the next Federal Reserve chairman to five final candidates. A decision is expected before the president begins a trip to Asia on Nov. Source