Uber Drivers Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There isn't a Guelph section yet, and I'm a new user, but I just wanted to warn that Guelph Police are handing out court summons to Uber Drivers at an increasing rate.

I received one last night and I'm convinced it was a sting. Picked up a middle aged couple on the edge of downtown, the woman was friendly, but the stern, cop looking male, didn't say a single word the whole trip. Claimed they were in town for the Jazz festival from Hamilton.

Was followed by Guelph Police across town and was approached upon arrival at a hotel in the industrial park off the Hanlon. As soon as the lights went up, the couple got out of the car and disappeared. The officer asked me if I was operating an Uber and I asked her if I was required to answer any of her questions. She said I didn't, but that she would question my riders.

She immediately came back and said that they claimed I was a taxi, not an Uber, but a taxi. I told her that a person cannot be charged on speculation and she went back to run my info. Came back with a summons for a court date the end of October.

Just wanted to let any drivers in the area know that this may be a thing, and to keep an eye out.

If something seems fishy, it may be better to cancel the fare and give a free ride rather then get tied up on the systematic attack on competition the city of Guelph has decided to wage.

It got my car off the road for the night as I don't want to risk another incident until Uber Head Office gets back to me about this one, but if Guelph remains adamant on keeping their antiquated and overbearing system in place, I may find another city to Uber in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
This is getting a bit too much now..
Is uber Legal or illegal?
If it is legal, why are uber drivers getting penalized? Not fair? Government bullying?
If it is INDEED illegal, shouldn't drivers cease breaking the law?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Uber operates in a grey area that cities have an issue with.

The taxi companies don't like the competition, because they will then have to adapt to the times and actually focus on creating an environment that the consumer prefers. They then put pressure on City Hall and threaten and harass drivers they see on the street. The owner of Red Top has stated, "For 60 years taxis have been part of building up the bylaws. They are good laws, and good laws have no expiry date."

From his point of view, old laws are good laws, and they shouldn't be questioned at all. Of course, that's only pertaining to ones that rule in his favour.

Competition will make the industry better as a whole, not throwing temper tantrums because it's a little harder for you to gouge customers that don't have another option.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Picking up passenger for compensation prohibited without licence, etc. - 39.1 of the Highway Traffic Act.

It is the closest they can get, though even that is flimsy at best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
FYI for those who are curious. . .

Picking up passenger for compensation prohibited without licence, etc.

39.1 (1) A driver of a motor vehicle other than a bus shall not pick up a passenger for the purpose of transporting him or her for compensation where a licence, permit or authorization is required to do so by,

(a) the Public Vehicles Act;

(b) a municipal by-law passed under Part IV of the Municipal Act, 2001;

(c) a regulation made under the Department of Transport Act (Canada); or

(d) an airport or airport authority,

except under the authority of such licence, permit or authorization. 2005, c. 26, Sched. A, s. 4.

Offence
(8) Every person who contravenes subsection (1), (2), (3), (4) or (6) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $300 and not more than $20,000. 2005, c. 26, Sched. A, s. 4.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
475 Posts
You know what would be hilarious...

Uber finds some podunk municipality in Ontario that will play ball and regulate/license them as a TNC (individual drivers don't need to register, they receive their TNC permits/authority from Uber). The municipality gets to audit Uber to make sure they are complying with safe operating practices (insurance, criminal background check, vehicle inspections, in car dashcam that records road and pax, and some kind of semi validated training process even if it's a Moodle setup playing videos and making you complete a test)...

All of a sudden, Uber and it's drivers have authority under section 39.1 of the HTA for reason b. Sure, most may be operating in a different municipality, but cabs will go PICK UP (but not accept street hails) people pre-arranged from areas outside their primary operating area all the time. A Waterloo Taxi offered to pick me up at the airport, so long as it was at the ALT hotel (I'd have to take the monorail over there).

I'm not a lawyer so I don't know if this is a potential legal loophole or just my own little daydream fantasy, but it would at least give Uber a little more grey area to operate in and put pressure on other municipalities to capitulate to similar terms (but let's get that insurance sorted ASAP!). It does suck that they need to take the "easier to ask for forgiveness than permission" approach, but there will be no change otherwise.. once the public falls in love with Uber (and they have) there can be no going back.

Now the door is wide open to other TNCs like Lyft, InstaRyde etc. to legitimately operate and now we can get competition for better drivers and rider experience. Uber can play the lowest common denominator game but if another TNC offers better comp for drivers and gets the better drivers and vehicles, riders will eventually follow when they start to see Uber looking more like the old taxi experience. This gives drivers some leverage and restores balance to the market, which is clearly needed in some of Uber's more mature markets. Specialized TNCs are another great opportunity (women-only rideshares, rideshares tailored for customers with special needs, true "ride-shares" that are more like carpools for compensation, whatever).

It's for sure going to shrink the Taxi industry but won't wipe it out, and it will likely grow the overall ride-for-hire market because more people will decide it's just cheaper/easier to use a hybrid of rideshare + public transport (which will help cities and their transit use growth and road congestion mitigation agendas). So many short-sighted councillors/committee/board members - really need to be woken up. Rideshare is a huge ally, many just don't see that far ahead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The market is big enough for everyone to operate. Especially for part time drivers. The only reason I've not applied to taxi in Guelph in the past is the cost of entry.

That isn't the costs associated with safety and regulations which are understandable and acceptable, but the cost of buying a vehicle and outfitting it with the company paint job, the signs, the meters, etc.

It causes a situation that makes it only possible for full time work to cover those costs and it's a loss lead to even get started in it.

Here in Guelph it's become a complete shakedown of Uber as that's what has the companies scared, but everyone is turning a blind eye to the scores of taxis from out of town that have popped up and are operating in the same manner as Uber. They aren't operating under the same bylaws as the Guelph taxis, yet I have yet to read a single argument or article about them receiving any sort of punishment for it.

It's old school bully tactics and ignorance over change, not the concern for public safety that they're using as a scapegoat to do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
What was the result from the court dates that were set for October 21st? Seems that if you were charged under the highway traffic act your insurance company would know about your activities now and may have cancelled your policy? Anyone have any news?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What was the result from the court dates that were set for October 21st? Seems that if you were charged under the highway traffic act your insurance company would know about your activities now and may have cancelled your policy? Anyone have any news?
The court date is set for October 29th. I have a lawyer who will be attending, and as it was explained to me, it's just an initial date and no judgements will be made.

Also, as far as I've been told, insurance companies are not dropping customers for this offense. Also, it does not apply to me as I have commercial insurance for my day job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
475 Posts
Which begs the question... does anyone know of ANYONE who has been dropped by their insurer for being outed as an Uber driver? I realize that they CAN (misrepresentation) drop you. And they might in a claim, but they might also just deny the claim itself and let you go deal with AIG. The industry may just be saying that it's POSSIBLE they would drop you as a way to cover their butts or something and scare people away from driver for Uber.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,790 Posts
There isn't a Guelph section yet, and I'm a new user, but I just wanted to warn that Guelph Police are handing out court summons to Uber Drivers at an increasing rate.

I received one last night and I'm convinced it was a sting. Picked up a middle aged couple on the edge of downtown, the woman was friendly, but the stern, cop looking male, didn't say a single word the whole trip. Claimed they were in town for the Jazz festival from Hamilton.

Was followed by Guelph Police across town and was approached upon arrival at a hotel in the industrial park off the Hanlon. As soon as the lights went up, the couple got out of the car and disappeared. The officer asked me if I was operating an Uber and I asked her if I was required to answer any of her questions. She said I didn't, but that she would question my riders.

She immediately came back and said that they claimed I was a taxi, not an Uber, but a taxi. I told her that a person cannot be charged on speculation and she went back to run my info. Came back with a summons for a court date the end of October.

Just wanted to let any drivers in the area know that this may be a thing, and to keep an eye out.

If something seems fishy, it may be better to cancel the fare and give a free ride rather then get tied up on the systematic attack on competition the city of Guelph has decided to wage.

It got my car off the road for the night as I don't want to risk another incident until Uber Head Office gets back to me about this one, but if Guelph remains adamant on keeping their antiquated and overbearing system in place, I may find another city to Uber in.
If you contest the ticket, the cops will have to get the couple to come to court and testify against you. They may not be inclined to come. If they don't show up and you deny driving for Über, the ticket will get tossed. If the cop tries to argue thats what the couple told him, you can object to his testimony as hearsay.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,790 Posts
What if they have a copy of the Uber receipt that has your picture and plate on it?
They would have to get that from the couple or Uber.

I don't think the couple were part of the sting or the cop wouldn't need to ask them anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
475 Posts
...and I would be cautious about misleading the court yourself, have a lawyer do the talking. The judge may be sympathetic and aware of the current political situation and look for reasons to throw it out, but may not be so friendly if you show no respect or try to make a fool of the court.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,790 Posts
...and I would be cautious about misleading the court yourself, have a lawyer do the talking. The judge may be sympathetic and aware of the current political situation and look for reasons to throw it out, but may not be so friendly if you show no respect or try to make a fool of the court.
Agreed.

Though if they can't find the couple to serve them a subpoena, The prosecutor may decide to abandon the case
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
475 Posts
In OP's case the couple were probably part of the operation as they disappeared as soon as the cops pulled them over. They'll show in court if required. No fine has been assessed yet right? Likely he'll get a $300 fine for 103.1 in this table: http://www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/how-do-i/set-fines/set-fines-i/schedule-43/

Is the lawyer provided by Uber? Probably he'll just want to pay the $300 fine vs fighting to have it thrown out, since it will cost Uber less.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top