Uber can come to Winnipeg to help taxi shortage

Uber can come to Winnipeg to help taxi shortage

A report coming out of Winnipeg suggests the city could and should adopt ride-sharing companies such as Uber, but only if more traditional taxis are put on roads.

The report was compiled by MNP LLP, a consulting firm for Manitoba’s Taxicab Board. The paper says Winnipeg does not have enough taxis. Indeed, the city has fewer cabs per capita than other municipalities of a comparable size. During the winter, there is one cab for every 1,252 residents of the city, which is above the average of one for every 860 people elsewhere in Canada.

New taxis are needed, while the addition of Uber and similar companies on the market could also help, the report suggests. However, the recommendation says Uber should be licensed separately from taxis, which is different to how other communities have managed the company. The report does, however, says the company should be scrutinized by the same consumer protection laws as taxis.

“There is nothing that the City would require of Uber to operate here, other than pay the taxicab license fee (if applicable) and meet the requirements that apply to all businesses,” a City of Winnipeg spokesman wrote in an email Wednesday.

Susie Heath, a spokeswoman for Uber, said in an email the company welcomes the suggestions in the report.

“The report confirms that the vast majority of Manitobans want ridesharing and we look forward to bringing Uber to the province soon so that Manitobans can benefit from another safe, reliable way to get around their communities and flexible income earning opportunity,” Heath wrote.

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