It looks like Uber will be forced to shutdown in Alberta tomorrow, as the province has reiterated what will be required to operate there.
Transportation Minister Brian Mason announced Monday afternoon all Uber drivers will be required to obtain Class 4 licenses—required for commercial operators—in order to drive in the province, plus also pass police background check. Uber wanted the province to waive the Class 4 requirement, as it would require a written exam and road test, seen as a barrier for new drivers.
“It’s our position that people driving vehicles for commercial purposes are not using their vehicles for the same purposes as those with a Class 5 licence,” said Mason, according to CBC News.
“The bottom line is that the Class 4 requirement is essential for the safety of both passengers and drivers.”
Another issue at stake is insurance, which would not be ready in time for tomorrow’s deadline of new regulations for ridesharing companies like Uber in Alberta, which will require provincially-approved insurance.
Intact Insurance has a policy for Uber drivers, but requires approval from the province’s superintendent of insurance—which won’t be ready until July 1, 2016. Intact said last week a final agreement had not been reach, despite the superintendent approving technical aspects of the policy.
As for Calgary, city council passed new bylaws which added stricter requirements for Uber last week.
On the weekend, Uber protested at the legislature in Edmonton to pressure the province to meed their demands, or announced a shutdown of the service would occur. Base fares for UberX in Edmonton started at $2.75, while extra minutes were charged at $0.25 each, while per kilometre charges were $0.85.
Well, looks like Uber had a fun ride in Alberta, but the company will have no choice but to pull its services to the curb.