Uber is Illegal

Halifax, Uber is Bad Economics and a Bad Idea

(Last Updated On: April 21, 2019)

Yes this article is a biased opinion. But please don’t pretend that the opinion of someone who works in the transportation industry doesn’t matter.

Let’s face it, the public is sold on the app Uber.  Uber has even become a part of every day slang in our language. Corporate Research Associates (CRA) published the results of its “Urban Report” poll result, which found that 67 percent of respondents in Halifax supported the introduction of Uber-like services. CRA did not say if Uber financed that portion of the poll. Nor does the media accurately report these numbers. They keep repeating “67% want this”. The reality is that the survey only represents a BIASED 3% of the population of Halifax. So 67% of 3% is still less then 3%. It is a small number that DOES NOT represent the public’s opinion.

Uber has won public opinion and the average person thinks Halifax should also have Uber. Despite, an abundance of evidence that this Uber brings many of it’s own problems to the table that does not improve the transportation industry at all. There are many examples across the country and in other countries which we can clearly see the problems we will face with Uber. Uber accumulated 4,479 one-star reviews from US users in the iOS App Store

Uber is nothing but an app that takes on the role of being a taxi service.  The company behind the app has managed to circumvent or change city bylaws and regulations in many cities to undermine the market with cheaper fares.  Regulations that are in place in order to protect the public. The evidence shows that companies like Uber and Air BnB are terrible for the economy.

Uber is an app company that exploits casual amateur drivers for the benefit of Uber – not the public.


If the reason for wanting Uber in Halifax is public safety…

Look at what has happened in other provinces like Quebec having to dish out compensation to their taxi drivers along with 1 billion dollar lawsuits being launched?

More Cars?

The only time there is short supply of taxis is on your typical Friday and Saturday night runs to the bars and home. Aside from that, taxi drivers put in 12-16 hour days just to get by. So flooding the market with hundreds of more cars will certainly only mean much less money for every driver to make.

According to the Hara report used by Halifax City Council to make their decisions, Halifax already has more cabs per capita then all other cities in Canada at 24.1 cars per 10000 population. Adding 600 cars will bring this number to 44 per 10000.

Uber’s own numbers show that they make traffic worse and is also linked to more traffic fatalities.

So you think you are going to get a better cleaner car?  Well how do you think that works out when Uber slashes prices as much as 36% and the driver is left making less than minimum wageDo you really think it is possible for a driver to support the maintenance and payments for a newer vehicle while making less than minimum wage?  A survey of 1,100 Uber and Lyft drivers in the US has found that when expenses are taken into account, a significant percentage of drivers are still earning less than minimum wage. After this controversial survey Uber drivers couldn’t agree on how poorly they were paid, but none the less, they are paid poorly.

Driving for Uber is unsustainable.

I don’t think the public even slightly grasps the amount of money it requires to run a vehicle professionally.  Personally I drive in excess of 100 000 km in a year. The cost of fuel and maintenance to run a vehicle is in the ten’s of thousands of dollars.  Do you really think this can be done earning minimum wage?

A large amount of their marketing is towards hiring drivers.  Why?  Because only 4% of drivers remain working for Uber after just one year.  That is an incredibly low number.  Suffice to say that their workforce is very unstable and to work as an Uber driver it provides an unsustainable income. They in fact often earn less than minimum wage.  There is a growing number of people who are not OK with Uber trashing this industry and forcing drivers to make less than minimum wage.  Read about “why everyone hates uber” with this link. Please watch this video: Half of Uber Drivers Live Below the Poverty Line.

Watch this video which explains how the math simply does not add up. Or this video. Or this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. There are hundreds, get the picture?

Uber has a very bad record of treating their drivers unfairly. They have been accused of wage theft by their own drivers. They don’t support their drivers with insurance claims. Read what Uber drivers say about Uber.

Uber has even used their own software to defraud their own drivers.  When you drive for Uber, you are a contractor, not an employee and they have long recognized that they need a steady stream of drivers signing up because it is not long before the drivers realize they are being used and there is no money in driving for Uber.  Which is why Uber has even resorted to using psychological tricks on drivers to get them to work.

Uber has devastated taxi industries everywhere they go and it hurts people badly.  In New York in 2018 alone there were 7 suicides due to drivers losing their livelihood. The suicides are a direct result of pressure from ride-hailing services.

So why Halifax, are you so eager to literally gut an entire industry?

Allowing Uber to change our bylaws which were implemented to regulate the industry while protecting the public is not only unfair but will have extremely negative consequences for those who work in the taxi / limo industry. These people are members of our community, our neighbours, our friends. They are small businessmen who have invested considerable sums of money into their profession and building their companies.

OK so its the novelty of ordering a cab on your phone and not having to pay the driver… is that it?

It is really hypocritical of you Haligonians to drive around with your “I support Local” stickers on your bumpers while cheering for the monster of Uber to come in and decimate the local industry and ruin peoples livelihood.

Uber is the Walmart of transportation and the killer of the industry that benefits only Uber. The company has so much money that, in at least some North American locations, it has been offering rides at rates so low that they didn’t even cover the combined cost of fuel and vehicle depreciation.

Let me ask you something…. if all of a sudden your job could be farmed out by a mobile application to anyone who decides they can do your job part-time, and you were forced to take a 20-36% pay cut if you wanted to keep your job – how happy would that make you? And to achieve this, the city and lawmakers would actually have to change laws and regulations to make it happen – Would you think it was ok? To a professional driver it feels unjust and criminal, and in fact Uber should be illegal.

It makes absolutely no logical or mathematical sense to cut the wages by as much as 36%, pay an international company 25% of what is left and expect the driver to maintain a vehicle while earning enough money to pay his bills. It simply does not work and will not work. That is money leaving the city, leaving the province and leaving the country.

Perhaps Halifax has just been brainwashed by it’s own media coverage of the criminals who have perpetrated sexual assaults in taxis.  Not to downplay the fear women may have due to this, but do you really think this does not exist with Uber? While the world is going to war with Uber, Halifax is ignorantly and naively cheering on killing an industry that works hard to exist as it is.

It doesn’t make any sense to bleed out the industry, collapse hundreds of driver’s livelihoods just so the public can save a few dollars riding in cars that are not properly regulated, with drivers that are not properly screened. Anyone can send in photoshopped fake documents to Uber and get on the platform. Uber has been under investigation for failing to spot photoshopped driver’s licenses. And even if they do use a real ID, who is to say they have actual insurance to protect the passengers when it is fairly easy to send in fake insurance documents. Halifax Regional Municipality requires that professional drivers have a written letter stating they are commercially insured on the specific vehicle they are driving on a regular basis to be licensed. Uber does not do this.  
More than 30,000 applicants – were rejected for failing a state criminal screening in Boston despite having passed checks by Uber and Lyft. Clearly Uber fails at screening their drivers.

The argument that Uber is any safer is a moot point. I agree that we need to make our taxis safer and more accountable – I guarantee you that the vast majority of the drivers in the industry are behind it. So instead of wasting thousands of dollars on biased surveys asking biased questions on public opinion that is devoid of the facts – let’s improve our industry. Regulate it, install cameras (many cars have their own), install GPS (most major companies have it already) – install payment machines so transactions are processed in the back seat without the driver.

It makes much more sense to improve our industry rather than allow an American company to monopolize our industry and walk away with all the revenue all the while hurting the livelihood of hard working people and their families.

It makes sense to create a Transportation Authority to regulate, monitor and administer all transportation matters with a mandate of public safety, the health of the transportation industry and the economic benefit of our city.