Uber narrowly evades a ban in Canada's largest city

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Uber narrowly evades a ban in Canada's largest city

Uber might be facing its worst nightmare in Europe, but it just got a big break in Canada. A Toronto judge has tossed out the city's attempt to ban Uber (and by extension, other ridesharing services) on the grounds that it's operating without a taxi license. It's all about how Uber takes customers, according to the court. Local laws require that drivers accept communication from passengers looking for a lift, but Uber doesn't do that -- you're simply sending a request that automatically pairs you up with a nearby driver. It's arguably a technicality (the city contends that Uber still dispatches drivers like other cab services), but the decision is enough to keep app-hailed cars moving in Canada's largest metropolis. The Toronto City Council now has to change bylaws if it wants to take Uber off the streets.

It's a different story on the other end of North America, however. Mexico City is proposing rules that would let Uber operate, but only if drivers register themselves and their vehicles. They'd also have to contribute to a transportation infrastructure fund. Uber says isn't averse to obeying regulations that it believes are competition-friendly, so it may not have to change much to continue business as usual. With that said, its response may depend heavily on what the final rules look like -- it may not play nicely if it believes Mexico City is trying to hinder ridesharing and protect the taxi industry.

[Image credit: Dennis Jarvis, Flickr]

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Uber narrowly evades a ban in Canada's largest city