The London Taxi Association stood at city hall Monday afternoon and said they would refuse to pay the $750 annual renewal fee to the city for its entire 450 car fleet – that is over $300,000.
The move comes after a year of frustration over the operation of Uber, and the city’s perceived lack of enforcement of so called “bandit taxis”.
By not paying the fee, London taxi drivers open themselves up to the possibility of fines.
“If the city wants to charge us (our drivers), we’re very easy to find,” said Roger Caranci who is a former city councilor and represented taxi drivers at Monday’s press conference.
Caranci criticized city council for its lack enforcement of city by-laws when it comes to Uber drivers, saying “There have been (only) 55 charges against thousands upon thousands of rides that Uber drivers have given in this city. That is totally unfair.”
Council is scheduled to consider sweeping changes to taxi by-law legislation in just a few short weeks. A part of that legislation could include the introduction of “surge pricing” which allows higher rates to be charged at peak hours.
Uber argues that traditional taxi rules should not apply to them, calling themselves a tech company.
Uber has been operating in London for the past year, although official rider numbers have not been released by Uber Canada.