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At least one Toronto taxi company is ready to get into the ride-sharing business if council starts regulating Uber.

Co-Op Cabs admitted Tuesday that if councillors opt to create regulations that would allow Uber to operate in the city as a "transportation network company," officials with the taxi operation would apply for the same licence.

"We're not going to go out of business," Peter Zahakos, CEO of Co-Op Cabs, told a Toronto Sun editorial board. "We've been around for 55 years, we're not going to go out of business, we're going to adapt.

"If the city wants to show preferential treatment to an out-of-town company and apply their business model on top of us and force that down our throats, fine and dandy but we're not going to go away."

On Wednesday, council will consider directing city staff to hammer out regulations that would allow Uber and other ride-sharing companies to operate in the city as transportation network companies.

The vote comes after weeks of lobbying by Uber and the taxi industry to try to sway councillors and the public.

Taxi industry veterans like Zahakos are frustrated with the ride-sharing app that doesn't abide by the same rules governing the taxi industry.

"They're pirates!" Zahakos insisted. "We follow the rules."

Zahakos hopes council will not push ahead with regulating UberX. Unlike Uber which connects users with taxi drivers for rides, UberX allows users to order rides with drivers using their own private cars.

"We want UberX out completely," he said. "There should be proper regulation, we should all be under one regulation, one bylaw. The mayor said that and I want to hold the mayor accountable for what he said ... He has to show leadership."

But if council does give the green light to regulating ride-sharing, Zahakos said he'd take the taxi plates off Co-Op cabs and start operating as private cars, like Uber, with its own app, meters and security cameras in the cars.

"I'm saying we're going to do our own thing (with regulated, licensed, fully-insured cars)," Zahakos said.

Asked about being called "pirates," Uber spokesman Xavier Van Chau said the council vote "presents us with the opportunity to develop smart ride-sharing regulations."

Van Chau added 76% of Torontonians support new bylaws for ride-sharing services locally.


Premium Member
8,984 Posts
He is so funny. He forgot that people use Uber for the service. Take the plates off and you still got a Taxi that people avoid and drivers who screw with you.
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