There’s been a war on our roads for the past 15 months. The taxi industry has been under fire since Uber launched in Toronto in September 2014. Frustrated cab drivers claim their livelihoods are in jeopardy. Despite pointing out the illegality of UberX’s operations, nothing has been done to stop the California-based tech company. Meanwhile, those who support Uber say the company is simply providing another transportation option, with cheaper fares and better customer service.
We talked to two Torontonians in the heat of the battle: a long-time taxi driver who describes how Uber has affected his bottom line, and an UberX driver who sees her involvement in social transportation as a positive one. Below is Jafar Mirsalari’s story. For Kam Kaler’s side, click here.
Most days, it’s still dark out when Jafar Mirsalari leaves his home in Richmond Hill. He likes to hit the road at 3:30 a.m., no later than 4 a.m., he insists. “It’s peaceful at that time,” Mirsalari says by phone. “Also, in the summertime, it’s much cooler that time of morning.”