Uber option in Orillia is possible after city council lifts vulnerable sector check requirement for its drivers

A staff report says there have been complaints about 1 to 2 hour wait times for a taxi

The door has been opened to Uber and other ride-sharing services to operate in Orillia.

Drivers for those services would not have to undergo a vulnerable sector check(VSC).

Council committee approved the recommendation contained in a staff report last night, among a series that was listed.

  • Remove requirement for a vulnerable sector screening certificate for transportation network company drivers and taxicab drivers before such a driver is able to operate in the City for the first time and alternatively, require a criminal record check provided such driver does not provide transportation services to unaccompanied persons under 18 years of age;
  • Add an offence prohibiting a transportation network company driver or taxicab driver from providing transportation services to unaccompanied persons under 18 years of age without first having obtained and provided a vulnerable sector screening certificate;
  • Reduce existing business licence fees for transportation network companies and taxicab companies by 20%;
  • Remove requirement preventing a transportation network company driver or taxicab driver from providing transportation services if convicted of specific Highway Traffic Act offences listed in Schedule “B of Chapter 725; and
  • Remove requirement for a Safety Standards Certificate to be submitted to a transportation network company biannually for vehicles that exceed 40,000 kilometres in the prior year.

Orillia and Uber have been in talks but the company said the vulnerable sector check requirement was a sticking point.

The staff report says if that is lifted, Uber intends to apply for a licence to operate in Orillia in 2020

.City council mulled over the idea of removing the VSC requirement for taxi and ride-sharing drivers last April as complaints flooded in about wait times as long as 1 and 2 hours for a cab, with concerns expressed about safety.

Council committee’s decision must be ratified by full council at its meeting next Monday.