Uber is on track to legalization in the Kitchener-Waterloo area as a new bylaw has been passed that requires drivers to have the same insurance and vehicle requirements.
The Region of Waterloo’s licensing and hearings committee finalized the bylaw on Wednesday, which is expected to pass on August 16. “Drivers, owners and brokers will now have a similar license structure that achieves public safety and consumer protection,” the region states in a release.
Ride-share drivers will now be required to take out $2 million in liability coverage, and be able to prove they have it to the region. They must also adhere to the same background checks and vehicle requirements as taxi drivers. Council continues to debate on whether ride share drivers will be required to install cameras in their vehicles.
Ride-share legalization in the region is another hard-won battle for Uber, which faces obstacles to operate in a number of cities. Due to a lack of provincial legislation, each municipality must determine the conditions in which ride-share programs may operate.
Uber was formally legalized in Toronto in May, when council approved a new Private Transportation Company status and required drivers take out necessary commercial insurance. Commercial auto carrier Aviva stated to Insurance Business
at the time that the market for coverage is poised to boom, with products in development to accommodate full-time ride-share drivers.
“We’ve taken the view that ride sharing is part of the sharing economy, it’s not going away despite what some people want,” said Jason Storah, executive vice president of Aviva Canada. “We think the sharing economy is only going to get bigger and stronger and deeper and wider, so to be actively engaged in finding insurance solutions just feels like the obviously thing to do.”
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