Calgary is still trying to solve an Uber problem that does not exactly exist. One thing is clear, however, the city will not make any amendments to its existing bylaw for another three weeks, with November 28 being the cut-off date.
The news comes just a week after one Calgary politician claimed the city would have Uber operating legally by the Holiday Season. That now looks very unlikely considering the company has currently left Calgary and does not have a path back into the market.
The US ride-sharing company pulled out of Calgary earlier in the year as it was opposed to the regulations that the city voted to implement to adopt all ride-hailing companies. However, Calgary could amend its bylaw to allow Uber to re-enter the market.
Taxi drivers attended the Livery Transport Advisory Committee (LTAC) two weeks ago and argued that Calgary should not reconsider its bylaw to adopt Uber. They says other similar companies like Tapp Car agreed to the city’s rules, so they should not be changed just for the benefit of one company. Of course, that one company is the biggest in the market and has economic positives to bring to the city.
The current bylaw states that Uber (and other such companies) must pay $1,753 per year to the city, plus $220 for each registered driver per year. The company says this is not a cost-effective solution. LTAC is deciding whether to change the current bylaw to introduce an alternative solution. The idea is that companies could choose between one of the two alternatives.
This second law would include a fare of $0.20 per ride to the city, a $15 fee for each driver, and an admin fee. Michael van Hemmen, Uber Canada’s public policy manager said this was a step in the right direction for the city.
That second law decision has now been put back three week.
“It means it’s frustratingly slower, in terms of it coming forward for council to make a decision,” said Coun. Evan Woolley, noting the decision is three weeks delayed. “This has been something that’s taken us much too long to get here.”
“More than 100,000 registered Uber riders and drivers in Calgary want to see their city embrace change,” said Uber Canada spokesman Jean-Christophe de Le Rue. “We hope City Council will hear their call and vote to support propose bylaw changes at the earliest possible date.”