I hopped into a taxi in Toronto last week, and the driver responded instantly when I asked him for a ride. For many cities in the US, that would be revolutionary. In Toronto, however, that kind of quick response from a cab driver is a relic.
In a matter of a few months, that driver who promptly rolled up with his trunk all the way to the end of Toronto Street will likely be an Uber or Lyft driver. The tech giant is moving full steam ahead in the city and its expansion is welcome, but I argue that Toronto’s existing cab system is in need of fixing. The ride hailing companies and mayor have failed to act on the issue. Uber and Lyft may have made Uber and Lyft drivers more accessible, but a taxicab drivers are still the poor relations of the corporate world. They are paid less than Uber and Lyft drivers, and they operate as cabs rather than being determined to make a profit with no expectations of how much to charge to cover their operating costs.
To learn more about this story, watch the video above from Michael Quigley, who works for the Toronto Transit Commission and writes on technology issues for The Conversation.