Many Western students are worried about losing the convenience of Uber's service but for some the consequences are more dire if the the company leaves London.
As reported earlier this week, Uber has stated that it will leave London if a city council bylaw mandating cameras in Uber vehicles is enforced.
For some students, working as an Uber driver is a part-time source of income which covers their basic costs and gives them some extra cash.
“It’s the perfect student job. The hours are really flexible, you literally drive whenever you want," said Maggie Oliana a fourth-year Ivey student and Uber driver. "So if I have group projects, exams or Christmas break, I don’t have to ask for time off."
Sebastian Perez, a fourth-year political science student, became an Uber driver last year and has loved the experience. Perez noted he is able to do it part-time during the school year and full-time over the summer.
It's also convenient as he can easily transfer from working in London to working in his hometown over the summer.
For students with cars, Uber can help cover expenses like gas, insurance, and groceries.
"The money’s really good, especially if you own a car as a student it pays for all my insurance and gas," Oliana said. "I still have some money left over for extra spending or to pay my other monthly expenses."
Perez said he would be unable to afford the estimated $1,000 camera installation and would have to leave the city on weekends to work in other cities.
“I think it’s ridiculous ... We’re looking at the first city in the world that would mandate cameras which is a joke," Perez said. "Most users already feel Uber itself is safer than taxis.”
Some Western students who were asked about their thoughts on Uber's safety said they already felt the measures in place were adequate.
"I think [city] council should really take into consideration the attitudes and feelings that both Western and Fanshawe have towards Uber," Perez said. "I think city council should be much more in tune with the constituency.”
Oliana encouraged individuals to sign the petition to keep Uber in London citing the benefits for both users and drivers.
City council will make a final decision on Uber and camera installation at the Tuesday, Feb. 14 council meeting.