Canadian Underwriter

City of Edmonton seeks feedback on fares charged by taxis, vehicle for hire industry

January 7, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter

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The City of Edmonton is seeking input on how taxis and private transportation companies, such as Uber, could charge fares under the proposed new Vehicle for Hire Bylaw.

Edmonton’s proposed Vehicle For Hire Bylaw will go for second reading on Jan. 26

The City of Edmonton said in a press release this week that the input will help ensure a fair system for both industry and the public. Feedback is being accepted through an online survey, which will remain open until Monday, Jan. 11.

At the Nov. 11 city council meeting, the proposed Vehicle for Hire Bylaw received first reading, meaning that council has approved it in principle, according to background information from the city. The bylaw allows private transportation providers to legally operate in Edmonton.

Results of the online survey, along with input provided by the taxi industry and Uber, will be shared in a report to city council when the proposed bylaw goes for second reading on Tuesday, Jan. 26.

The city proposed the bylaw in early September. At the time, highlights included:

• 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.

The City of Calgary is also grappling with how to deal with private for hire vehicles. Late last year, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta issued a temporary injunction against drivers offering rides for a fee in the city using the Uber app. The city had wanted the court to ban Uber drivers until safety, insurance and regulatory requirements were met.

Earlier, in July, Alberta’s Superintendent of Insurance announced that he had reviewed Uber’s insurance policies and found “significant issues with regulatory compliance.”