TORONTO, Sept. 15, 2015 /CNW/ - The majority of Torontonians familiar with UberX believe it operates as a taxi service in the city and that the same rules and regulations that apply to established Toronto taxis should apply to UberX, if safety and security are to be assured.
"Toronto has spent decades developing effective taxi regulations to ensure the safety of riders and drivers in all for-hire vehicles," said Kristine Hubbard, Operations Manager at Beck Taxi. "Providing a taxi service is an important responsibility and an essential service, so safety is paramount."
A survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Beck Taxi found that among people who are familiar with UberX, 75 per cent view it to be a taxi service, more than they view it to be a technology company, ride-sharing company or mobile app provider. "People recognize UberX for what it is – a taxi service," said Hubbard. "And Torontonians' expectations around standards and safety when it comes to for-hire vehicles is quite high."
According to the polling data, there is a gap between the kind of safety regulations Torontonians expect should be in place for all UberX vehicles and the kind they believe are in place today. Greater than 85 percent of those familiar with UberX felt it should be subject to police background checks for drivers (87 per cent), commercial insurance that protects drivers (89 per cent) and riders (86 per cent), and regular vehicle maintenance (88 per cent). In contrast, less than 58 per cent of those familiar with UberX actually believe it offers these important safety standards today.
"As we've done since the day we opened our doors, we're listening to Torontonians and they are telling us they expect all for-hire vehicles, including UberX, to adhere to the same safety standards as Toronto taxis," said Hubbard. "Tomorrow when Toronto city councillors consider the ground transportation report, they should also consider that Toronto citizens expect to have their safety protected. We hope that City Hall chooses a level playing field, one that puts the safety of Toronto citizens first."
Currently the City of Toronto mandates that all licensed taxis in Toronto follow safety standards that include:
- Police conducted background checks for drivers;
- Vehicle inspections at least twice a year from licensed mechanics at city facilities;
- Proof of $2 million in commercial automobile insurance;
- Extensive driver training that includes route planning, customer service, human rights, defensive driving and first aid; and
- Safety features for vehicles such as cameras, emergency lights and snow tires.
The Harris Poll survey was conducted online from Sept. 4 to Sept. 10, 2015. It was conducted using an online panel. A total of 702 of adult Toronto residents, familiar with Uber, were surveyed.
Beck is a family-run business that has operated in Toronto for 49 years. Beck dispatches to the largest fleet of taxis in North America with over 2,000 available cars operated by professionally trained, licensed and commercially insured drivers. For the past 20 years, the organization has been the proud recipient of the Toronto Sun Reader's Choice Award for Favourite Taxi Company in Toronto.
SOURCE Beck Taxi
Image with caption: "Beck Taxi (CNW Group/Beck Taxi)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150915_C4902_PHOTO_EN_496993.jpg
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