Ridesharing & Transportation Network Companies
Ridesharing and vehicle-for-hire services - What you need to know
What is ridesharing?
Ridesharing is a service where passengers use a website or mobile apps to arrange a ride in a private vehicle driven by its owner for a fee. In Calgary, ridesharing companies can legally provide this service if they are licensed through The City. This does not include carpooling, vanpooling or public transit.
What is the difference between a ridesharing company and a Transportation Network Company?
There is no difference. The City of Calgary refers to ridesharing companies as Transportation Network Companies within the Livery Transport Bylaw 20M2021.
What is the difference between taxi services and ridesharing companies?
Customers wanting a taxi can ‘street hail’, make payment inside the taxi and use a variety of options to book a trip (phone, website, app, and text). Taxis charge a rate that is capped at a maximum regulated amount. Ridesharing companies can only accept rides and payment through an app approved by The City.
Is it cheaper to use ridesharing services versus a traditional taxi?
Not necessarily. App rates for ridesharing companies can fluctuate based on demand, whereas taxis have a capped rate. More information on rates can be found on our rates and fares page.
What’s The City’s role with taxi, limousine and ridesharing companies?
We license and regulate the vehicle-for-hire industry, including taxi, limousine, and Transportation Network Companies (ridesharing companies). The focus is safety for customers and drivers, service quality and consumer protection.
How long have ridesharing/Transportation Network Companies been permitted to operate in Calgary?
The Livery Transport Bylaw 20M2021 was changed in February 2016, and became effective on April 4, 2016, allowing for ridesharing companies to operate in Calgary. This included licensing for companies, drivers and app approval by The City.
Why do bylaws change?
Bylaws are not static; they can change over time. Part of the regulatory process requires bylaws to be amended from time to time to make improvements and to address new issues. We make the best decisions with the information we have, but we need to see how the market responds to the bylaw.
Why do we need a “made in Calgary” solution for ridesharing when this isn’t the case in other cities?
There isn’t a one size fits all solution for the vehicle-for-hire industry—both within Calgary and in other markets. We know there’s a desire for more transportation options. We want to give you choice, but we want each option to be safe. That means we need a lisence fee structure in place that works for companies of different sizes and covers The City’s costs (regulating the industry is not supported by tax dollars). We also need to have the right safety checks in place. The recent bylaw amendments, together with the provincial legislation, do just that.
Why don’t we allow ridesharing companies to conduct their own background checks?
Safety is and always has been our top priority. We want to make sure the right standards (and Provincial requirements) are met so you can have a safe ride.