As expected, the City of Calgary has voted to amend its vehicle-for-hire bylaw and change regulations to allow Uber to operate in the city. The US ride-sharing giant had initially pulled out of Calgary after it disagreed with the previous bylaw, which came into effect earlier in the year.
The city council has voted to amend the rules, offering a new fee structure for ride-sharing companies to use a scalable fee system. There are no guarantees Uber will return, but it is very likely, especially since the application process for drivers has also been streamlined. The company has previously said it can be up and running again by midweek if given the greenlight to be reintroduced in Calgary.
Uber first launched in Calgary during October 2015. It was illegally operating in the city and was met with staunch opposition from authorities, with the government taking an injunction against the company. As Canadian municipalities warmed to the economic benefits of the sharing industry, Calgary drew up bylaws to accommodate Uber and companies of its type.
However, the US-based company disagreed with some stipulations and decided it could not viably operate in Calgary, so left the market entirely. Since then, there have been rumors of a deal between Uber and the government to see the company return.
While negotiations have undoubtedly been happening, the taxi industry does not believe Uber should be given special treatment. The biggest critic of the company, the traditional cab industry says other sharing companies have managed to operate within Calgary’s regulations, so Uber should do the same and not be given concessions to return. However, it has now been revealed that just five companies worked under the previous regulations, and they only accounted for 80 drivers on the city roads.