The City of Toronto lost its case against Uber after the Superior Court in Ontario denied its request to stop the ride sharing operations of the company on Friday.
In his ruling, Superior Court Judge Sean Dunphy said Uber is not required to have a license to operate its ride-sharing service in Toronto under the existing laws. According the judge, there is no evidence that Uber is operating as a taxi broker or a limousine service company.
Judge Dunphy ruled that Uber drivers do not accept communications from passenger because they order a ride using the company’s app, which is automated and download ahead of time.
The judge emphasized, “Accepting calls for transportation does require a license and Uber does not do that.” According to him, none of the ancillary aspects of Uber’s business such recruiting drivers, marketing, billing, customer relations are subject to a requirement to obtain a license.
A great win for Uber drivers
Ian Black, the general manager of Uber Canada said the court ruling was “a great win for the 5,000 drivers who need this flexible earning opportunity to make a living, and the 300,000 riders who rely on them” in an emailed statement. The mayor’s office said it would invite representatives from both sides in for a meeting to seek “mutually agreeable solutions.”
Uber will continue to hurt the taxi industry
The iTaxi Workers Association expressed disappointment to the ruling of Judge Dunphy. The taxi drivers’ union said, “This will continue to hurt the front line drivers and the taxi industry. We urge City Council to take immediate measures to ensure fairness for the 10,000 licensed taxi drivers of the City.”
Uber started operating its ride-sharing service in Toronto in 2012. The company strongly insisted that it is a technology that connects drivers to passengers. Julie Rosenthal, the lawyer representing Uber argued that the ride-sharing company does not need a license as a taxi broker because it is not dispatching taxis.
The City of Toronto and taxi companies argued that Uber is operating its business like a taxi broker that finds taxis and drivers for passengers.