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Our letter to London City Council

February 9, 2017 / Toronto

Dear London City Council,

On behalf of Uber, I wish to thank everyone, including Mayor Brown, Councillors, and staff for the patience and work that has been undertaken in consideration of regulation for the vehicle for hire industry in light of ridesharing.

When the draft vehicle for hire bylaw goes to a final vote at City Council on February 14th, it will determine the future of ridesharing in London.

Unfortunately, the bylaw in its current form contains a requirement for Uber drivers to install cameras in their vehicles. This requirement would force Uber to shut down its operations in London.

Over 70 jurisdictions around the world have passed regulations that embrace ridesharing but no city in the world requires cameras in ridesharing vehicles. In Canada, cities that have recently passed ridesharing bylaws have not required cameras in ridesharing vehicles, including Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, Niagara Region, Waterloo Region, Oakville, Hamilton and the Province of Quebec.

In addition to Uber’s safety regime that includes criminal background checks, driver abstract checks, and insurance, Uber’s technology makes rides safe before, during and after a trip in ways not possible before, including:

Safe Pickups

  • Making sure you always have a safe, reliable ride starts before you even step into the car. You’ll see your driver’s name, photo, license plate number, car make, and model. You’ll also see the feedback rating when your request is confirmed—so you know who’s picking you up ahead of time. The app automatically pinpoints your location to provide true door-to-door service. That means you stay safe and comfortable wherever you are until a driver-partner arrives.

Trackable Location

  • Riders can easily share details, including the specific route and estimated time of arrival, with friends and family so they can see a rider’s current location and arrival time. Riders can also see the route on the map in the app. The location is clearly marked so riders know where they are on their journey – and if they are on the right route. We use GPS to keep a record of where a driver-partner goes during the ride, creating accountability, and a strong incentive for good behaviour.

Cashless Transactions

  • Fares are automatically charged to the rider’s credit card, so driver-partners can avoid the risk and hassle of carrying cash and making change.

Driver Rate Riders

  • Driver feedback counts just as much as riders. We’re not OK with any rider behaviour that makes driver-partners concerned for their safety or the safety of their vehicles. Riders reported to be abusive toward partners or violate our terms of service may lose access to the system.

A requirement for cameras will make it impossible for people in London to earn a flexible income driving with Uber. Cloud based camera systems or leased camera options are not required by any city in the world, including numerous Canadian cities that have regulated ridesharing to date. Respectfully, a vote for cameras in Uber vehicles, be it cloud based, leased, or systems currently deployed in taxis, is a vote to ban Uber and ridesharing in London.

The story of Uber is really a story of London and the people who keep it moving. There are nearly 1,000 driver partners in London who rely on Uber to earn a flexible income and the residents of London who rely on them to get them and their loved ones a safe ride home – anywhere, anytime.

Together, let’s keep London moving.

Sincerely,

Uber Canada