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Mayor John Tory to meet with taxi companies, Uber at city hall

07/06/2015 08:45 EDT | Updated 07/06/2016 05:59 EDT
Mayor John Tory is calling on taxi drivers to back down from threats to cause traffic chaos during the upcoming Pan Am Games to protest Uber.

Tory is set to meet with the two sides at city hall on Monday morning, days after a judge dismissed the city's request for an injunction against the popular ride-sharing service.

Last week, some cab drivers threatening to shut the city down during the Pan Am Games, something Tory is hoping to avoid.

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"We don't want to reflect badly on our city as we put the Games on," Tory told CBC News on Monday morning.

"I can only hope that everybody in the city takes a positive this week."

Peter Zhakos, CEO of Co-op Cabs and Crown Taxi, told CBC Radio's Metro Morning he doesn't support a shutdown during the Games, but afterwards, "that's a different story."

The Games are simply "not the time" to stage a protest, Zhakos said, adding that the city needs to streamline its bylaws governing the taxi industry so traditional cab companies can compete with services like Uber.

That should includes a major reduction in the amount of regulation new cab drivers must go through before they get behind the wheel, Zhakos argues.

Tory said cab drivers have a "perfectly legitimate business dispute" when it comes to Uber, but didn't say what changes the city might make.

Judge Sean Dunphy dismissed the city's application to stop Uber last week, saying there is "no evidence" the company is operating as a taxi broker.

In his decision, Dunphy said questions surrounding the regulation of evolving communications technology should be resolved politically.

Uber has always argued it is a communications company that connects passengers and drivers, and thus isn't subject to the city's bylaws.

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