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Council gives green light for Uber to operate legally in Toronto

Last Updated May 4, 2016 at 7:34 am EDT

The Uber mobile app is shown on a smartphone in an undated file photo. CITYNEWS

Toronto city council has voted in favour of new ground transportation rules that will cut some regulations for taxis while imposing new ones on Uber.

The newly-passed regulations mean that for the first time, Uber has the green light to operate legally in Toronto. The city approved a new PTC or private transportation company class to accommodate Uber.

Councillors voted 27-15 in favour of the new rules on Tuesday night after hours of debate.

With the new rules, taxis will be able to use surge-pricing – much like how Uber adds extra fees during busy times – but only for fares that are booked through an online app.

The base fare for Uber will increase by 75 cents to $3.25. Also, all vehicles must be inspected twice a year.

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Uber drivers will also be required to get $2 million in liability insurance. Also, a proposal that would have required Uber vehicles to have winter tires was amended to allow for all-season tires.

Uber celebrated the decision, tweeting “Thank you Toronto and Mayor Tory. Excited for the road ahead.”

During the council meeting, Coun. Cesar Palacio who chairs the Licensing and Standards Committee said the city is going to make sure Uber plays by the new rules.

“If they don’t want to abide by these regulations, they can get out of the City of Toronto, if they don’t comply with that. And we are going to make sure about that,” Palacio said.

Coun. Janet Davis was among the critics who said the city watered down safety standards to satisfy taxi companies.

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