The local Halifax government has said that ride-sharing service Uber is unlikely to launch in the city, and said a lack of interest from Uber is the reason.
The US based company has expanded to most major Canadian cities, but Halifax remains one of the few holdouts where Uber has not made its presence felt. The company has discussed expanding to other markets, including Halifax, but has yet to make any moved towards entering the city. Municipal spokesperson Brendan Elliot argues that the city’s existing laws a prohibitive for Uber.
“I don’t know whether we’re lucky that our legislation is something that is keeping them away, we just don’t know the reason,” Elliot told Metro.
Uber avoiding Halifax because of existing legislation is unlikely. The company entered Canada without regulations and without the welcome mat rolled out, it is unregulated and rouge in every Canadian city. In other words, Uber does not mind setting up shop where it is not welcome and operating despite the existing laws that are in place.
Elliot said the city has not been approached by Uber about entering Halifax recently, although previous meetings between the company and municipality may have put Uber off. The local government insisted that the company would have to use existing taxi drivers if it were to expand in the city and that there would be action taken against drivers who were not licensed.
Many Canadian cities have changed bylaws to accommodate Uber, so arguably the company is waiting for those negotiations to be cleared before looking to expand. Consumers in Halifax are likely to welcome the service, but the city is making it clear that Uber can only arrive if it abides by existing local laws.