Uber now officially licensed in Ottawa

After operating illegally in Ottawa for two years, Uber's 1,528 vehicles are now officially licensed and able to act as private taxis in the city.

City of Ottawa says Uber has 1,528 licensed vehicles in the city

Uber is now officially licensed to serve the City of Ottawa. (Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters)

After operating illegally in Ottawa for two years, Uber has become the first officially licensed private transportation company in Ottawa.​

Last spring, the City of Ottawa passed new "vehicle-for-hire regulations" — the first jurisdiction in Ontario to do so — to bring ride-hailing services like Uber in line with the city's taxi bylaws. 

The new rules came into effect Sept. 30, and dictate that companies such as Uber must secure an operating licence from the city.

Uber Canada became the first company to do so. Its private transportation company (PTC) licence includes 1,528 vehicles, according to Roger Chapman, the chief of by-law and regulatory services for the city.

That potentially introduces a big influx of vehicles to the city's taxi industry, though it's not clear how many of the Uber vehicles are also licensed taxis.

Last week, before the new rules came into effect, the City of Ottawa said there were 2,538 licensed taxi drivers.

The app-based ride-hailing service had operated illegally in Ottawa since October 2014, disrupting the traditional taxi industry in the city.