While Calgary voted to amend regulations to allow Uber to come back to the city, the US company is not having things all its own way. While Uber says it will return to Calgary in December, city officials insist they will continue to stop Uber drivers from operating until the company pays back the cost of policing Uber’s illegal operations in Calgary over the last year.
Uber arrived in the city in 2015 and worked for months as a rouge company with drivers who were not properly licensed or insured. The city responded by taking out an injunction and actively targeting Uber drivers and charging them.
Calgary introduced regulations for vehicle for hire services in April, but Uber left the city as it did not agree with the bylaw. This week’s vote changed the fee structure and allows Uber to return, which the company will do on December 6.
However, the city’s new assertion suggests Uber drivers will still face problems and that the government and company are not as agreeable as the new amendment suggests.
Earlier in the day, Ryan Jestin, the city’s director of community standards, said a lawyer representing Uber drivers asked the city to lift the injunction on Tuesday, after city council approved rideshare bylaw tweaks on Monday that Uber is willing to work under.
“We responded to them (Tuesday) night saying yes, we’re prepared to lift the injunction, but we need to discuss the costs associated with that injunction,” Ryan Jestin, the director of community standards, said.
Jestin insists the company does not need to pay much, saying “in the magnitude of certainly under $20,000.”
“Obviously, we had a pretty significant operation when we charged the drivers a year ago,” he said.
“Our plan, of course, is we would ask for those costs to be covered by Uber, as a result.”