September 4, 2015 by Canadian Underwriter
The City of Edmonton announced on Friday that it has proposed a new Vehicle for Hire Bylaw that would allow technology-based dispatchers to operate, while also seeking to maintain a competitive traditional taxi sector.
“Many Edmontonians said they wanted us to consider the options,” said Garry Dziwenka, director of licensing and vehicle for hire, in a press release on Friday. “Our hope is that the recommendations to City Council meet residents’ expectations while maintaining a level playing field in the industry, keeping our citizens safe and respecting provincial legislation.”
Highlights of the proposed bylaw include:
• allowing technology-based companies that have mobile app dispatch services to operate;
• standardizing all vehicle for hire class requirements to include mandatory criminal record checks, proper class of provincial licence, proper insurance and yearly mechanical inspections;
• increasing the fines for operating without a licence under the new bylaw to $5,000; and
• same fees for licences for all classes of vehicles for hire.
Under the proposed bylaw, rides must be pre-arranged and fares are not regulated for “private transportation providers.”
For public taxis, they must also have fare metres, top lights and designated colours and markings on the vehicle. Requirements for driver’s abstract, specialty driver training, English proficiency, a defensive driving course and the late night fare surcharge have been removed.
The city said that the public is invited to review and comment on the draft bylaw through an online survey that will be available until Sept. 10. This public feedback will be summarized in a report that will be presented at a non-statutory public hearing on Sept. 16.