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Strategic Meeting of Council Nov. 16, 2015

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The Nov. 16, 2015, Strategic Meeting of Council included:

  1. Convention Centre Update (verbal)
  2. Transportation Network Companies (TNC) Framework

Convention Centre Update (Verbal)

The Calgary Convention Centre provided an update to Council including a brief history of the Convention Centre and an overview of its strategic direction, considerations for expansion and current challenges. Council asked Administration to review the Convention Centre's recommendations and bring back options to Council as soon as possible. Mayor Nenshi will also meet with the Chair of the Calgary Convention Centre Authority's new board to further discuss the recommendations.

Transportation Network Companies (TNC) Framework

Council selected Administration’s recommended option for a new framework that would allow Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like Uber to operate legally in Calgary. The framework provides transportation options for Calgarians through a hybrid open/controlled entry system that levels the playing field for TNCs and the taxi and limousine industry. It has also been endorsed by industry stakeholders and was unanimously supported by the Taxi and Limousine Advisory Committee (TLAC) last week. Council directed Administration to develop amendments to the Livery Transport Bylaw accordingly and report back to Council through TLAC by February 22, 2016. This time-frame allows for Administration to work through the details of the bylaw with stakeholders.

The new system will allow operation of private for-hire vehicles if there is appropriate vehicle insurance as required by the Province of Alberta and drivers meet specified training, security and licencing requirements. The new bylaw will require that private-for-hire vehicle drivers are licensed, have police background checks, vehicle safety inspections and can only provide services through the use of a Smartphone application. They would not be allowed to street hail or use telephone dispatch services. Additionally, taxis will be given flexibility in setting rates for trips arranged through a Smartphone app.

In the meantime, The City continues to inform drivers, passengers and the general public about risks involved in current operation of private for-hire vehicle services. The Government of Alberta has issued an advisory notice on ride sharing services and the insurance risk they currently pose to themselves and the public. The Province is working with the insurance industry on options to address insurance concerns. A solution is anticipated for Q1/Q2 of 2016.

Until the new bylaw is approved the current Livery Transport Bylaw remains in effect and the operation of private for-hire vehicles remains a breach of the bylaw.

Council News in Brief is an informal summary of highlights from Calgary City Council meetings. The City Clerk provides the complete and formal documentation of Council’s meetings including agendas, minutes and video.

More Council News in Brief – highlights from Council and committee meetings

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