NEWS
09/21/2015 17:37 EDT | Updated 09/21/2016 01:12 EDT

Uber petition draws support ahead of Toronto council vote

More than 20,000 people have signed Uber's online petition urging city council to legalize the ride-sharing service in Toronto.

The California-based company launched a website and petition Monday calling on council to adopt city staff recommendations for UberX, the popular ride-sharing service that allows anyone to earn money by providing rides to willing customers.

The petition had 24,679 signatures as of 5:30 p.m. 

In a report released last week, city staff proposed UberX and similar services be included in updated taxi and limousine regulations, the creation of a new licensing category for ride-sharing services and for taxi fares be dropped by $1 to $3.25 to make traditional cabs more competitive. 

But many taxi drivers, backed by councillors Jim Karygiannis and Giorgio Mammoliti, are pushing to have the service banned from the city, altogether.

Uber's petition says detractors "are attempting to end ride-sharing in Toronto by pushing city council to reject the creation of a regulatory framework that gives residents more options, creates jobs and supports innovation."

Toronto Taxi Alliance spokesman Sam Moini told CBC News last week that creating a licensing category for UberX will mean the "death of the industry."

"The taxi industry and Uber provide the same service," he said. "We provide a service of transportation from point A to point B with a vehicle. Why should there be two sets of rules for the same service? There should be one set of rules for all."

Council will vote on the issue Sept. 30.