Niagara close on Uber decision

Uber’s journey as an unregulated service in Canada is reaching a conclusion, with the company either adopting regulations or leaving markets entirely. Niagara is the latest region to close in on its decision regarding ride-sharing companies when the Niagara Police Services Board’s proposed regulations are decided upon.
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The board has been working on the changes since last November, drawing a draft bylaw on May 26 has left the licensing committee with the decision to accept the changes or not on June 9.

Authorities have worked with Uber in the process, with police chair board Bob Gale said the company may have just left the area if the city had just pushed regulations through without negotiation. The government has said it wants to at least test the waters with the company to see if it can adhere to any new laws implemented.

Apparently talks between Niagara and Uber have been cordial, which is a refreshing change from often hostile negotiations in other Canadian municipalities. With the details of the bylaw unclear, it remains to be seen whether Uber will agree with the changes or decide to leave. There is precedent for both scenarios around the country.

Like other municipalities, the main sticking points have been regarding licensing and insurance, so the bylaw will likely focus heavily on those aspects. Gale said the board is working to resolve the bylaw either way by July 1, before the tourist season starts in the area.

“We look forward to continuing this work with them to modernize regulations to encourage innovation, put people first and create safe, reliable and affordable transportation options,” said Uber spokesperson Susie Heath.

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