September 27, 2020

BY JENNA BRAUN

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Life isn’t fair.

We are constantly told this as children when we are unhappy with a situation, and to a large degree, it is true. However, what we are also taught as children is how to problem solve.

Our local taxi drivers and new UberX drivers need to do some problem solving.

On the UberX website, it states that to become a driver, the only necessary requirements are to be at least 21 years old, own a personal licence as well as auto insurance and to own any medium- to full-sized four-door vehicle in “excellent condition.”

The requirements to be a taxi driver are much more intricate. According to Waterloo Region’s website, a police check and driving record check must be carried out, proof of English literacy given and taxi drivers must obtain a sponsorship from an existing company. Afterward they undergo training and must renew their taxi licence annually.

Taxi drivers in Ontario are throwing enraged tantrums at the unfair conditions UberX has been operating in. This summer, limousine owners in Toronto filed a lawsuit against UberX, wanting them prohibited from operating in the province and stating they have “created an enormous marketplace for illegal transportation.”

Recently, Waterloo Region taxi drivers purchased and placed “Your Legal Taxi” signs on their vehicles in an attempt to discourage passengers from using UberX.

The ongoing strife between these transportation drivers isn’t going to be solved simply by making things fair. Cities could force UberX drivers to undergo the same application process as taxi drivers. While this would be reasonable, UberX would still run taxi businesses into the ground. Why? They’re simply easier to use and much more modern.

The UberX app allows users to book, track and pay for a ride with their smartphone in seconds.

It works well, and passengers love it.

However, we do think these new drivers should have to prove they are safe, knowledgeable, fully qualified drivers. It’s a bit alarming that the requirements to be an UberX driver are minimal.
In turn, taxi companies really need to refurbish themselves if they want to keep up.

The views herein represent the position of the newspaper, not necessarily the author.

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