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

  • Lululemon shares drop after weak outlook

    Economic CBC News
    Shares of Lululemon Athletica Inc. fell sharply in after-hours trading Wednesday after the athletic-inspired sportswear company delivered a weak outlook for the current quarter. The Vancouver-based company says it earned $136.1 million US, or 99 cents per share, for the three months that ended Jan. Source
  • Cenovus Energy buying most of ConocoPhillips's Canadian assets for $17.7B

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- Cenovus Energy (TSX:CVE) announced Wednesday it will spend $17.7 billion to acquire most of the Canadian assets of ConocoPhillips, making the Houston-based company the latest international player to reduce its exposure to the oilsands. Source
  • Cenovus Energy buying most of ConocoPhillips' Canadian assets for $17.7B

    Economic CBC News
    Cenovus Energy of Calgary says it will spend $17.7 billion to acquire most of the Canadian assets of ConocoPhillips, making the Houston-based company the latest international player to exit the oilsands. Cenovus CEO Brian Ferguson is calling it a "transformational acquisition. Source
  • Canadian coal production hit three-decade low last year as demand wanes

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- The National Energy Board says Canadian coal production dropped to a three-decade low last year as demand waned. Production came in at 60.4 million tonnes, a 12 per cent decline since 2013, and well off the peak of about 79 million tonnes reached in 1997, the NEB said Wednesday. Source
  • Etihad Airways responds to laptop ban with free iPad and Wi-Fi for 1st class

    Economic CBC News
    One Middle Eastern airline targeted by new U.S. rules banning computers on certain flights has responded by offering first and business class passengers complimentary use of a tablet computer with internet access while on board. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways made the announcement on Wednesday, noting that so-called Premium passengers will be welcome to use the service as of Monday. Source
  • Sask. premier invites Calgary energy companies to move to Saskatchewan

    Economic CBC News
    Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is taking a turf war with Alberta to its economic heart, inviting energy companies based in Calgary to move their headquarters to his province. In a letter to Whitecap Resources, Wall offers to subsidize relocation costs, trim taxes and royalties and help find space in unused government buildings if the oil and gas firm moves to Saskatchewan. Source
  • Etihad to lend U.S.-bound passengers iPads as ban workaround

    Economic CTV News
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- One Mideast airline affected by the ban on most electronics in the cabins of U.S.-bound flights will lend iPads to its top-paying travellers. Etihad Airways said on Wednesday that it will offer the tablets to U.S. Source
  • Bombardier senior execs earned nearly 50 per cent more in 2016

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL - Bombardier's senior executives saw their compensation rise by nearly 50 per cent last year at a time when it laid off thousands of workers, sought government aid and saw the first CSeries passenger jet take flight. Source
  • Fact check: U.S. President Trump didn't get luxury-model Air Force One

    Economic CTV News
    KIRKLAND, Wash. -- A widely shared story that claims to include photos of a recently delivered plane that will serve as Air Force One for U.S. President Donald Trump is false. The pictures included in the story do not show the presidential plane and are conceptual renderings from an outfitter of luxury aircraft. Source
  • Manulife picks head of its Asia division as president

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - A relative newcomer to the senior ranks of Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC) has been picked to be the insurer's president, responsible for its global operations including Canada. Roy Gori, who joined the Canadian life insurance and wealth management company in early 2015, has been responsible for Manulife's Asia division. Source