Uber sued for $307 million by Toronto taxi drivers

By midian182
Jul 24, 2015
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  1. Uber is facing a multimillion-dollar joint legal action by taxi drivers in Toronto, Ontario. The ride-sharing company is being accused in a class action lawsuit filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice of having created “an enormous marketplace for illegal transportation”.

    Filed by law firm Sutts, Strosberg LLP, the accusers seek $307 million in damages and a ruling banning the company from offering rides in the entire province of Ontario. Jay Strosberg, a partner at the law firm, said the case represents all taxi drivers and companies in the province and if a judge agrees to hear the case, drivers and companies can choose not to be involved.

    Named plaintiff Dominik Konjevic claims Uber violates the Highway Traffic Act by having unlicensed drivers transport riders in exchange for payment, action the lawsuit says has diverted “millions of dollars of revenue away from properly licensed taxicab, limousine owners and drivers in Ontario.”

    The move comes after a provincial court had rejected the city's bid to stop Uber's services in Toronto earlier this month, citing there was no evidence it operated as a taxi broker. "This protectionist suit is without merit," Uber Canada spokeswoman Susie Heath said. "As we saw from a recent court ruling in Ontario, Uber is operating legally and is a business model distinct from traditional taxi services.”

    Uber has faced opposition from taxi firms around the world, including violent protests in France. The company argues that it is not a taxi business, but a communications network that connects riders and drivers, and therefore is not subject to the same regulations as taxi firms.

    Last week, a California judge ruled Uber must suspend operations in the state within 30 days over their parent company's refusal to supply data required by 2013 legislation. The company received some rare good news yesterday, when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped his proposed bill that would have capped Uber’s growth in the city.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,082   +331

    F*** the taxi's.

    I work in toronto.

    They need to compete or die abit of competition and they go crying to the government.

    People flock to uber because they are tired of the ridiculous high prices.

    I'm sorry but the people have spoken and they want Uber not you!
    H3llion, DaveBG, Hexic and 3 others like this.
  3. GreenArrow

    GreenArrow TS Enthusiast Posts: 44   +23

    please stop saying this is about competition the problem is not about that its about money. Taxi drives have to pay the city to operate while Uber doing the same exact thing do not. simply put government is behind the times. government needs to find a way to ask Uber drivers to pay for a license or simply stop requiring a license to operate.
    BMfan likes this.
  4. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Maniac Posts: 528   +143

    The taxi drivers shouldn't be upset with Uber then, it should be with their employers. Uber is fulfilling a need that the current system leaves open. If that hole didn't exist, Uber wouldn't exist.
    Lionvibez and DaveBG like this.
  5. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,385   +2,171

    The government isn't behind the times at all. It's the cab companies that are behind the times, as they've stuck with a business model subject to exorbitant fees, failing to evolve in more than 50 years. If they were to start their own ride sharing services, they would be in the same regulatory situation as Uber and Lyft. But they aren't, because they (a) can't compete in that arena and (b) enjoy their government-controlled monopolies.

    If the government is going to do something, it should be to ease the financial burden on taxi companies imposed by regulations.

    The alternative--forcing special licensing requirements on companies like Uber--is retarded. For instance, as it stands now, a mutual contact can arrange for me to drive a passenger from A to B at that contact or passenger's request. This is something that happens routinely, every day in this country (see: car pools, chauffeuring, etc.). To have the government require me to be specially vetted for no other reason than the middleman and driver charging a commission, is so arbitrary and capricious, the only rational explanation for such a law is to insulate cab companies from any form of competition.
    Lionvibez and dms96960 like this.
  6. So......if I live in a city where a taxi service operates and my friend asks for a ride and offers me gas money because a taxi is way to expensive, thats illegal? thats what the issue sounds like to me. the taxi companies are crying because someone else is getting business because some of the population would rather save money. apple may as well sue microsoft too if someone buys a surface pro over an ipad. america the beautiful has become america the wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhahahahaaaaaaaaaaa. teardrops.
    dms96960 likes this.
  7. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Addict Posts: 218   +72

    Wait wait wait... if someone thinks that his job description is unfair, or he is underpaid he just quit. Not protest...
    Let all taxi drivers that think their job is bad become uber drivers. But nooo they like the way they can provide worse service for more money ... well suck on it then.
  8. I'm not an expert, but I think Toronto is in Canada, not America.
    Tanstar likes this.
  9. Licenses... what government creates to make something legal, illegal. Such as driver another individual for compensation. What should they care what two individuals voluntary exchange in monetary/services.
  10. I can understand you hate USA and all, but this discussion is about Canada. The taxi lawsuit is in Canada. My opinion: it's a dumb suit. Another law firm looking for a judge who will try a bogus case for them to make a pay day
  11. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Maniac Posts: 528   +143

    Canada is part America just like the USA is part of America.
    darkzelda likes this.
  12. umbala

    umbala TS Addict Posts: 163   +135

    Uber and Lyft are here to stay, so get used to it. It'll probably be a few years before the dust settles and all the cab drivers get the bitching and moaning out of their systems. If there's a need for a service and someone is providing a CHEAPER and BETTER alternative than you, guess who the people are going to go to? We live in a rapidly changing, high tech world. You can either adapt or fade away. There have been plenty of large industries/companies that collapsed over the past few decades simply because they were too slow to adapt. You can protest, you can get violent, you can sue, you can lobby, but you can't stop progress. It's as simple as that.
    Lionvibez likes this.
  13. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Guru Posts: 827   +249

    I live in Toronto and will never take another taxi again :) Uber is VASTLY superior, cheaper and faster...

    The city already lost their attempt to have an injunction - they will eventually lose their case as well...

    The sticking point many are looking at is insurance - if you crash in an uber cab - who's responsible? Is it the driver? Or Uber? And do you sue Uber? or the driver?
  14. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,385   +2,171

    The driver should be responsible. Uber is only a middleman; it is the driver who is offering the transportation.
  15. "Should" be... But ARE they? And lawsuits for personal injuries and run into hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars... Can the average Uber driver pay that? I doubt it...

    So who pays the insurance?
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,467   +1,760

    Please take a moment to explain how you laminating a semantic / trick geography lesson / prank into this discussion, moves it along.

    The USA and Canada are situated on the continent of North America, I get it. So then, maybe we should hear from the Tijuana taxi drivers too, as Mexico is in "America", at least by your way of defining it.

    Most of the rest of us simply foreshorten, "United States of America", to either, "US", "USA", or "America". In fact, IIRC, the United States is the only governmental body on either the continents of North or South America, whose name includes "America".

    More to the point, I haven't the vaguest idea why so many of you seem to believe that taxi drivers are standing in line begging whichever government to take most of their money. That's absurd.

    If any of you were ever in a trade union, you'd know exactly what Uber's drivers are "scabs".
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2015
  17. In order to be a "Scab" the Uber drivers would have to work FOR the cab companies, and take the current unionized cab drivers jobs if company drivers and the cab company management have a dispute- which is not the case. Uber drivers are offering competition to the cab companies, not competition to unionized workers. Calling them a "Scab" is a misnomer.
  18. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Guru Posts: 396   +82

    Most of us think of trade unions as outdated organizations that have outlived their usefulness by a century, so this comparison doesn't help the taxi drivers any.
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,467   +1,760

    And that's why most of you have a scab mentality. Well, that and you've likely been watching too much reality TV, where "Outwit, Outlast, Outplay", stick it to the other guy appears to be the role of law. Basically the glorification of sociopathy for the entertainment of a bunch of brats who don't want to get their hands dirty.

    Here in Philly we have a city workers union. And while, "many of you might believe" that unions are, "outdated by a century", trust me, one of those union guys is worth at least a gross of fools sitting in their parents basement trying to code the one millionth and first crapplication for the iPhone. Hands down, no contest!
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2015
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,467   +1,760

    OK, it's still unlicensed competition, and therefore unfair competition. Besides, non union cab drivers and their vehicles have always been referred to as, "scab cabs". (provisionally, AFAIK, IIRC), whether they worked for the union company or not. So, not really a misnomer in this context.

    I'm hoping against that the US Supreme court will deal with Uber the same way they it dealt Aereo, eliminate it.

    You can say what you like about "selective law enforcement", and "why not go after the real criminals", but when you stand out in public flaunting illegal activity, you should expect to be called on it.

    Civilization doesn't run on youthful idealism. They teach you that crap in school, and you spend most of the rest of your life, trying to unlearn it.

    Besides, Uber seems to be dealing with their pricing on a, "how much you pay for it, depends on how bad you need it".

    This is the same "business practice", that wildcat electric companies here in PA, used to deal with their customers during the winter, after "freedom of choice, buy your electricity anywhere you can", was introduced. They sent salespeople time and again to everyone in the state's home, pitching very low BUT variable rates. So, as soon as January came around, people started getting $800,00 bills, when they would have been billed about $300.00 by their local utility. So basically, the lifting of supplier restrictions, invited massive consumer fraud.
    Phr3d likes this.
  21. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Guru Posts: 827   +249

    Uber states their prices up front... they provide MUCH faster service, and they are convenient.... If taxi companies want to compete, they could create an "app for that" as well - Uber doesn't win by price alone - it's the convenience and speed - something Taxi companies COULD provide if they chose to...

    Hopefully Uber will force them to do so - so even if Uber dies, at least we'll have better taxis in the future...
  22. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Guru Posts: 827   +249

    As for unions - they are needed to protect workers.... but when they get too powerful, they should be crushed....

    I'm a teacher in Toronto, and my union is about to make me go on strike (my fingers are crossed) - I don't agree with much of what my union says... but I have no choice... would LOVE to deal directly with my employer and eliminate the union - government pays a fair wage/benefit to other civil servants (teachers are civil servants) and I see no need for a separate union run by people I disagree with...
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,467   +1,760

    As near as I can figure Uber is a bunch of yuppies with too much time on their hands running around trying to pick up fares. When their equipment starts to get a couple of hundred thousand miles on it, their costs will begin to equal that of the taxi companies. Further on, as near as I can tell, they may not have the chauffeur's licenses and the commercial insurance necessary for this type of endeavor.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2015
  24. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,467   +1,760

    Well, because you can't afford to go on strike the union should be dismantled.

    But when the union is fighting against the government wanting to strip you of benefits and freeze wages, then I guess that's all right with you.

    Here, let's do some vocal warm ups, then we'll sing a sad song together. Ready.....? Me, me, me, me, me, me, me......
  25. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Guru Posts: 827   +249

    You missed my point... but as I see by your nickname, you're just here to whine...

    NOONE is trying to take away my benefits or pay - just trying to freeze my pay (which while I'd love a raise, see no need to strike for it)... Unions are only useful SOMETIMES.... other times, they just get in the way...

    As for Uber being a "bunch of yuppies".... While this doesn't really dignify a response, I'll give you one anyways... Uber is a bunch of SMART BUSINESSPEOPLE who saw an essential service being mismanaged and created a vastly superior alternative :)

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