You may already know that I am strongly in favour of safely allowing Uber and other ride-sharing companies to provide their services in Calgary. On its own, the old and tired taxi system simply doesn’t work for us anymore, and it’s time to shake things up. Calgarians want the freedom to choose how to get around, they want fresh and original solutions to mobility, and they want healthy competition in the marketplace. Of course, taxis still have a place in our city, and they will continue to do so for a long time to come. But their monopoly is over.
I have used ride-sharing apps before in other cities, and can attest to the ease and convenience of this kind of service. It isn’t perfect, however, and when it comes to safety the City of Calgary needs to ensure that we get things right. On Monday, my City Council colleagues and I will decide how to move forward with regulations that allow Uber and other private-for-hire companies to do business in Calgary. And, let me be clear: some level of regulation is necessary – doing nothing, and making no change to the Livery Transport Bylaw, is simply not an option.
Regardless of my opinion on the matter, and until it changes, Uber drivers in Calgary are indeed breaking our law. So let’s change it, and change it thoughtfully. It is not too much to ask private-for-hire drivers to acquire the proper insurance and pass a criminal background check. And it is certainly not too much to ask for our regulatory framework to accommodate not only these drivers, but the customers who are hungry for an innovative, convenient and proven choice. Calgary is ready.
I will keep you updated as this issue unfolds. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with my office.
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.