As Calgary’s city council prepares to vote today on changes to its ride-share bylaw, one councilor believes it could pave the way for Uber’s return to the city. What’s more, Coun. Evan Woolley says the US-based ride-sharing company could be back in Calgary as soon as Wednesday.
Calgary introduced new regulations to help ride-share companies operate in the city besides traditional taxi services. That legislation was rejected by Uber earlier in the year and the company left the city entirely. Since then negotiations have been underway in an attempt to reintroduce Uber, despite taxi companies saying other ride-share services have adapted well to Calgary’s bylaw.
A vote on Monday will decide whether the city will pursue a new fee structure in a bid to green light Uber. The company’s Western Canada GM, Ramit Kar, has already said it would take Uber just days to get up and running in Calgary again. It is a prediction echoed by Woolley, who says the city should vote for the company to return.
“There’s not a single rationale why we shouldn’t vote for this,” Woolley said.
“It’s the holiday season, and some of the most challenging times that we have had with our taxi industry and the availability of cabs is around the holiday season,” he said.
“There’s no reason we can’t provide another option for citizens to get around safely during the festive season when they like to partake in a libation or two.”
Mayor Naheed Nenshi weighed in on the issue and said, “I am happy to make these minor bylaw changes that preserve public safety, which must be the heart of our system. I am not in favour of releasing more taxi licences now, however. I see no reason to do so in this economy.”