Uber’s expansion throughout Canada will continue in 2017, much like it has in 2016. The ride hailing company will make its way to more markets, while municipalities will debate the sharing economy before offering Uber regulations to operate.
Saskatchewan is one new horizon for Uber, and one city councilor believes the ride hailing company will come to Saskatoon sometime during 2017.
Darren Hill says ride sharing companies will come to the city next year, without specifically saying if he meant Uber. Considering Uber’s market reach, it would be among the first of its kind in Saskatchewan. However, like in other provinces, lawmakers will have to redraw current licensing regulations in a bid to accommodate Uber.
At the moment, drivers wanting to charge passengers for rides must hold a class 4 license, which means having medial and criminal record checks. The minimum liability insurance stands at $1 million. Uber will likely agree with insurance stipulations, but will almost certainly argue any regulations about class 4 licensing, believing the cost is prohibitive to its part-time drivers.
Other taxi-like laws currently on regulation are a mandatory PT license plate, which costs $4,000 on average to insure, according to data from SGI.
Despite this, Hill believes the city will introduce new regulations that make the system fairer for Uber and cabbies alike. It is a balancing act other municipalities have tried and largely failed, with taxi drivers angered by the adoption of Uber.
“It’s inevitable that they do arrive and that they are operating here,” Hill said.
“Uber has already expressed an interest that they want to operate in this market and I believe that they are simply waiting for the provincial review to be completed and then they will start what they need to do from their end to be operating within our city boundaries.”