Thank you for taking the time to share your support of Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) regulations in Calgary. Please know that The City also wants to provide an environment where TNCs like Uber can operate because that is what you have told us you want. The Bylaw changes being proposed to Council on February 22, 2016 will change the way taxi service is delivered without compromising on basic safety requirements. Uber will be permitted to operate in Calgary as long as Calgary Police Service checks, provincial vehicle inspections, and proper insurance are in place. This is for your safety! The reported $500 in fees per year facing drivers is to ensure all these checks, inspections, and a license to operate is in place. This is a nominal fee for the cost of doing business and these fees could be quickly recovered after a short time of operation.
TNCs are still required to have an insurance product that will provide coverage in case of an accident. Uber has not produced proof of insurance that will supplement a driver’s private insurance policy because current private insurance policies become null and void once a driver uses his or her vehicle for commercial purposes.
Currently, the only insurance product in Alberta is commercial insurance. The private insurance industry is working on providing a product specifically for TNCs which take into account private insurance when driving for personal reasons, and enhanced coverage once a customer has accepted a private-for-hire driver, similar to the insurance product that is offered to Uber drivers in the United States.
The Superintendent of Insurance regulates and creates policy for the insurance market in the province to ensure that Albertans have affordable access to the insurance coverage they require, by monitoring the effectiveness of the market, and responding to the needs of the province and its citizens. The Superintendent has indicated that this product is necessary for TNCs to operate in Alberta if they will not purchase commercial insurance. Although it was anticipated this product would be available by March, the private insurance industry and TNCs have yet to agree on a product that meets the needs of TNC drivers. There is currently no timeline indication of when this product may become available. The City of Calgary supports TNCs to operate as long as they comply with the Bylaw.
I hope they will solve their issues so there are more transportation options for Calgarians; it is strange that a local government is being asked to resolve their business challenges. The City is doing what we believe is necessary to ensure the safety of Uber passengers, drivers and the public. Please view The City’s recent response here http://www.calgarycitynews.com/2016/02/safe-transportation-options-on-way.html. You can also see my previous thoughts on Uber here http://www.calgary.ca/citycouncil/ward-6/Pages/News/UBER-Disassembled.aspx.
Again, thank you for sharing your views with me, please be assured that The City is working hard to bring safe, private-for-hire vehicle service to Calgary and need the new service providers like Uber to complete their part as well.
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.