Cabbies are continuing their fight against Uber in Calgary, attempting to stop the company’s legal expansion in the city. 150 disgruntled drivers spoke in front of officials on Thursday to offer objections against bylaw changes that would bring Uber back to the city.
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) 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.
“Uber’s still not satisfied. They’re bullies. They’re invading each city the way they want, and they’re imposing their rules on everybody,” said taxi driver Omar Baidoun.
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.
“Our hope is to be in Calgary as soon as possible. Hopefully, we’ll be able to do so very shortly after council makes any changes.”