This past Monday, November 16th, 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.
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.