Uber drivers lacking commercial insurance are banned from the streets following a vote by City councillors in the Ontario city of Hamilton earlier this week. The decision was reached Wednesday to prohibit Uber drivers who lack the coverage on their vehicles demanded of local cab drivers and pursue a court injunction for under-insured Uber drivers who persist in carrying passengers for hire despite the prohibition.
Under a proposed new licensing category, ride-hail services would pay $50,000 a year to operate in the Southern Ontario city; this contrasts with the insurance costs placed on cab drivers, which can be as much as $10,000 per month according to CEO of Hamilton Cab, Jagtar Singh Chahal. The city’s taxi drivers are also subject to an annual licensing fee as well as compulsory training yearly, conducted through the city.
Under the plan presented by Licensing Director Ken Leendertse ride-sharing services with more than 50 drivers would be subject to a licensing fee of $50,000 yearly as well as dispatching fee of $20,000.
Other areas broached by the proposed bylaw would entail ride-hailing cards to be clearly marked while drivers would be compelled to get police checks and annual Ministry of Transportation inspections.
Public input on the draft licensing bylaw over the summer will result in a final draft for council to vote on in the fall.