My Council colleagues and I recently voted to create a new bylaw that allows ride sharing services such as Lyft and Uber to operate in Calgary.
While competition is healthy, the City has a responsibility to ensure that ride sharing services are safe for passengers, drivers, and the public at large. Calgary’s new bylaw sets out reasonable safety standards for ride sharing companies and also improves how standard taxi cabs operate in our city.
Compared to regulations in other jurisdictions, the new bylaw is stronger in areas related to safety, and is less onerous in several other areas. For example, Calgary’s new standards ensure drivers meet a police background check, while Edmonton’s do not. Uber drivers are required to obtain police background checks in many cities around the world. Conversely, Calgary does not require the complex and costly licensing requirements of other jurisdictions where services like Uber already operate. In New Zealand, for example, Uber drivers must pay three times the cost of Calgary’s fees and wait up to two months before being able to drive. For more details on Calgary’s requirements, click here.
Ride sharing services also need insurance that is acceptable to the Provincial Government. Just this week, the Government of Alberta agreed to a new insurance product that will allow ride sharing services like Lyft and Uber to operate. The Province is further requiring that ride share drivers have Class 4 licences or better, and that they pass police background checks. Both these requirements, and the need for insurance, are aligned with Calgary's new bylaw that allows ride sharing services.
I will continue to promote transportation choices for Calgarians. When options like walking, cycling, transit, taxis, ride sharing, carpooling, and personal automobiles are readily available, Calgary becomes more accessible for everyone.
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.