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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. 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.

Update from November 28, 2016

Today, Council decided to give Calgarians more choice when it comes to transportation in our city. In passing this amended Transportation Network Bylaw today we should see companies like TappCar, Cowboy Taxi, and Ride Please have an easier time getting more drivers on the road and companies like Uber and Lyft entering the market. I'm excited that we found a model that works to both allow a new innovative service find its feet here in Calgary while ensuring both drivers and users safe.

Update from November 22, 2015

Having always been strongly in favour of safely allowing Uber and other TNCs to operate in Calgary, I am disappointed with today’s outcome.

New sharing economy businesses like Uber, AirBnB and Kickstarter are breaking the mold and pushing the boundaries of antiquated business models. As consumers and citizens, we now demand better service, better value and more transparency. We are close to finding common ground for TNCs, Taxis and Limousines but I believe that we still need to modify the framework. I proposed to my colleagues on City Council that we focus on the two main sticking points that are holding our progress hostage. I asked to see a thoughtful hybrid flat and variable fee structure as well as the creation of an inspection process that doesn’t create unnecessary barriers to provide service. Unfortunately, my attempt to move these two issues forward failed. Calgarians are hungry for an innovative, convenient and safe choice and I will continue to fight for an effective model.

Update from November 16, 2016

Today, my Council colleagues and I took a major step towards allowing Uber and other private-for-hire services to operate in Calgary. We voted to move ahead with a "hybrid open/controlled entry system" in which taxi regulations are made more flexible and new market players, such as Uber, are allowed. As a result of our decision, City staff will return to us in February with new regulations to ensure that for-profit ride-sharing apps can be incorporated safely and thoughtfully into our transportation network. If we agree to these bylaw changes, then Uber will be legal.

I am hopeful that the new regulations will be balanced and straightforward, and that Uber will be allowed on Calgary’s roads.

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.​