A group of Ottawa taxi drivers have ignored a warning from the mayor and police and released a second vigilante-style video online that they say shows Uber drivers operating a taxi service without the required licence.
The group secretly filmed an Uber ride from Barefax in the ByWard Market to the Marriott Hotel, capturing the car’s licence plate and questioning the driver about his business.
“You don’t have your taxi licence?” one passenger asks in the video, titled The Reality of UBER | Part 2 and posted on YouTube late Saturday night.
“I don’t know. I have nothing, no,” responds the driver, who says it’s his first week driving for the ride-sharing service in Ottawa.
According to City of Ottawa bylaws, operating an unlicensed cab carries a $260 fine while being an unlicensed driver is subject to a $615 fine.
Nearly 150 charges have been laid against drivers accused of operating an Uber since the service launched in Ottawa in October 2014. So far, 37 drivers pleaded guilty to 74 charges, with fines totaling more than $22,000, according to bylaw officials.
Amrik Singh, the head of the union that represents most taxi drivers in Ottawa, has previously called on city bylaw officers and police to carry out a bigger crackdown on what he calls “bandit cabs.”
On Monday, the first of the vigilante-style videos targeting Uber was posted online, in what the taxi drivers say was an effort to help city bylaw officers collect evidence and issue tickets against Uber drivers.
City officials and Ottawa police have denounced the actions of the video-making taxi drivers, saying police must be the ones to collect evidence against the ride-sharing service.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson compared the taxi drivers involved in the videos to “thugs,” which led one of the drivers involved, Roy Noja, to call the mayor a “puppet of Uber.”