Uber warns of higher prices and longer wait times following Toronto’s decision to freeze new licences for ride-hailing company Uber.
The company, which operates in more than 50 countries and has a fleet of over 12,000 taxis, is warning drivers and riders that the ridesharing company will soon face stiff hikes in prices.
In some cases, Uber said it will cut the prices in half, with more on the way.
The increases are the worst-case scenario Uber and its drivers have warned that the company faces out of the gate.
But Uber said in a letter sent to drivers that it won’t offer the discounts without concessions, with the company also warning that if drivers don’t increase the price to Uber, a “very real risk” remains.
The company said that “significant regulatory change” made it necessary to halt the expansion of its Toronto operations, meaning the city’s previous decision to freeze new licences stands.
“It is not clear which regulatory change, if any, precipitated the decision that resulted in the loss of new taxi licences,” said Uber in the letter. “In the absence of any clear change to the Toronto regulatory environment, Uber was compelled to shut down its new operations and suspend driver education and education-related programs, even as it continued to offer such programs in and around Toronto.”
To mitigate the potential impact, the company said it’s making a series of changes to its existing fares and will soon offer free rides from 1 p.m. to midnight.
“It is a temporary change in our prices, which will result in some higher fares,” said Uber. “We will make a series of improvements and we will reach our goal and get off this ride later this year.”
Uber doesn’t know how many drivers will be affected but the company has been telling drivers they will have to meet new standards set by the city.
The city has said that, once new licences are reinstated, the new regulations must be met before drivers are allowed to drive for the company in Toronto.
“Uber Toronto has stopped operating due to the City’s decision to suspend new licences for it, effective immediately, ” the company said. “We will continue to monitor the City’s efforts to regulate driver-side operations in Toronto and have no further