City charges more Uber drivers
Hamilton woman slapped with $305 fine for 'operating a taxicab without a license'
The city of Hamilton is charging more Uber drivers, but the popular ride hailing service is showing no signs of shutting down its local operations.
"We are in the process of concluding our recent investigation into illegal operators that are driving for Uber," city spokesperson Ann Lamanes said in an email. "These of people that are operating a taxi service outside of the City of Hamilton Licensing Bylaw.
"Officers are in the process of laying charges this week. Not all offenders have been served as of yet, so the names and numbers of offenders are not available."
One of those people who found themselves slapped with a fine is Jenn Morris. A Bylaw officer showed up at her door on Thursday and handed her a $305 fine for driving for Uber.
That didn't phase her, because as she understood it, Uber will pay any fines its drivers acquire. "I'll keep driving for them as long as they keep paying," she said.
But that came with some finagling, in this case. Originally, the company said it wouldn't cover her "type" of fine. After being contacted by a reporter, however, Uber spokesperson Xavier Van Chau chalked the issue up to a "miscommunication."
"Our support team has since reached out to Jenn and will seek to support her as we always do in instances of enforcement," he said.
Morris said getting the ticket "doesn't discourage her at all" from driving for Uber. "Everyone loves this service. I don't think it's going anywhere.
"I don't see anyone getting rid of it, because so many people use it and so many people like it." Business in Hamilton is "slow" at the moment though, she said.
City council passed a motion last month asking Uber to suspend operations while it examines changes to taxi regulations.
Spokesperson Susie Heath said the company was "pleased" to attend that council meeting, but did not answer questions on if the service would suspend operations in Hamilton as council requested.
Local cab company Blue Line Taxi has also launched a new app to compete with Uber.