Last week, University Students’ Council vice-president Jamie Cleary spoke about the importance of Uber in the lives of Western students at a public participation meeting held at Centennial Hall. 

The meeting was held by the community and protective services committee, a city council standing committee that deals with emergency services, community services and public safety. 

According to Cleary, there were over a 100 people at the meeting giving their thoughts on the proposed amendments to the vehicle-for-hire bylaw, which would create similar conditions for city taxis and Uber drivers.

In July, London city staff put forward recommendations for the bylaw with the purpose to level the playing field for Uber and London’s taxis.

However, the city council turned down recommendations that would ban surge pricing and required in-car cameras. Cleary supported the council's actions on the recommendations.

“We were speaking in favour of the amendments specifically because we do see the value that Uber brings to the city of London, specifically students, who are generally quite favourable of Uber, especially for its affordability and its use of service,” Cleary said.

There were various people giving speeches at the meeting including members of the public, people from taxi corporations, people who work for Uber and Uber drivers.

“I think you had mixed perspectives and I think it was really nice to see the council and the committee really listening to the perspectives of everyone and everybody being also quite respectful of each others’ opinions and ideas,” Cleary said.

A final decision will be made on the proposed amendment through a vote at the upcoming committee meeting on Nov. 7.

“I was really happy to speak on behalf of students and be there and I think city council received it quite well,” Cleary said.