London council to debate final Uber bylaw Tuesday

After a year and a half of debate and discussion, London city council will either approve or shoot down a bylaw Tuesday that will regulate the ride-sharing company Uber.

Two weeks ago, a city committee council voted 7-6 to require cameras in all taxi cabs as well as ride-sharing vehicles.

The bylaw update would effectively legalize UberX, the smartphone app that connects passengers with drivers offering rides in their personal vehicles, often at prices lower than those charged by taxi companies.

Uber argues cameras are unnecessary because it already has safety measures in place, including background checks and the fact that users are provided with drivers’ names, photos, licence plate numbers and vehicle information.

The Calif.-based company has threated to leave the Forest City if the bylaw is passed.

Uber says they have almost 1,000 registered drivers that would lose a source of income if they left the city.

“It would be a huge job loss issue created by this concern about cameras,” says Uber driver Steve Everett.

Uber also argues that Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, Niagara Region, Waterloo Region, Oakville, Hamilton have all approved ridesharing without any camera requirement.

Last week, the London Taxi Association threatened to shut down cab service on Wednesday if the byalw was defeated, but has since changed that decision.

If the bylaw fails to pass, the current bylaw would remain in place, meaning Uber would remain operating illegally in London.

CTV London will have the latest on the Uber debate at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.