Toronto asks for court order to force Uber out

Uber Bad Day: Toronto sues to stop ride-sharing company from operating in Canadas largest city

Uber's week just went from bad to worse.

Less than 24 hours after reports surfaced that a high-ranking Uber executive had suggested launching a blackmail campaign against reporters who had been critical of the ride-sharing service, the city of Toronto asked for a court order to stop the company from operating in Canada's largest city.

According to a statement issued by Toronto City Hall, the company has been operating without a license there since 2012.

"The taxicab and limousine industries are regulated by the city to ensure protection of residents and visitors, and to ensure the health and safety of passengers and drivers," the statement read. "Uber has been operating in Toronto since 2012 without a proper licence."

The city contends that Uber's operations pose a safety risk to Toronto residents because their vehicles and drivers are not subject to independent inspection or training. The city also expressed concern about the company engaging in price gouging. 

In a statement, Uber General Manager Ian Black said that restricting consumer choice would hurt Toronto residents.

"We look forward to continuing to provide the people of Toronto with the Uber they know and love, as we continue to work with city officials to create a permanent home for Uber in Toronto," the statement said.

Uber has faced repeated criticism over its "surge pricing" in recent weeks, especially after several media reports surfaced of customers paying hundreds of dollars for relatively short rides on Halloween night.

The company also came under fire after BuzzFeed reported Monday night that Uber's senior vice president, Emil Michael, suggested that the company spend $1 million to conduct opposition research on journalists who criticized the ride-sharing service. 

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick apologized for Michael's comments in a series of tweets on Tuesday.

Follow @JamesQueallyLAT for breaking news

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
55°