On Monday February 22, Council will be reviewing proposed changes to the City's Livery Transport Bylaw that will create the opportunity for Transportation Network Companies (TNC's) such as Uber to legally operate in Calgary.
The changes being proposed are as follows:
- TNC drivers must undergo a Calgary Police Service (CPS) criminal history check. These criminal history checks are the most thorough background checks available and include vulnerable sector checks (e.g. checks for pardons for things such as sexual offences) as well as national police information. Current taxi drivers must undergo these checks to qualify for a license.
- TNC vehicles should undergo a provincially-approved vehicle inspection every six moths, a regulation that our taxi industry already complies with. These inspections are widely available throughout Calgary.
- Insurance is a very important part of this equation and the City continues to inform drivers, passengers and the general public about risks involved in using 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 drivers and the public, noting any third party involved in an accident in or with one of these vehicles may not have insurance.
- TNCs should be required to submit trip data, driver availability, and trip volumes. This allows us to ensure that quality customer service is attained. This is something our taxi industry already provides The City. This data has assisted the police in different types of criminal investigations and is another way to monitor citizen safety. The trip data also helps The City make good evidence-based policy decisions.
- A proposed licensing fee of $220 per driver, per year is reasonable to help with the operational cost of enforcement. In addition, other fees include a CPS criminal history check of $30, a vulnerable sector check of $25 (only if finger prints are required) and a vehicle safety inspection fee ranging from $140 to $179. TNCs have the opportunity to subsidize these fees or pay for them outright to support their drivers.
These proposed bylaw changes will allow TNCs to operate in a fair and competitive market. They address citizen, driver and passenger safety and support accessibility, reliability, fairness, competition and customer service.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.