The City of Edmonton has proposed a new “Vehicle for Hire” bylaw that would let Uber and other ride-sharing apps operate legally in the city.
The new bylaw will essentially make Uber drivers like traditional taxi drivers. Under the new bylaw, Uber drivers would be required to undergo a criminal background check, have their vehicles inspected yearly, and require a license to operate from the city.
Uber drivers would also need a commercial insurance policy, similar to ones used by traditional taxi operators. Current Planning Branch Manager Scott Mackie said:
“This is a recognition from council I believe that the world is changing, technology is changing. We need to adapt and ensure we’re keeping up with it.”
The new bylaw is intended to balance the interests of the operators and the public. In a statement, Councillor Scott McKeen said:
“To ignore this technology is to allow a situation to continue where there are these … bandit cabs, this sort of black market that I don’t think we can ignore any more. The other thing is technology has changed the market so much that we can’t ignore either the demands of consumers.”
For months, the city has been asking Uber to comply with current Vehicle for Hire bylaws. In the spring, the provincial court denied a request from the City of Edmonton for an injunction against the ride-sharing company.
If the bylaw were to pass, Edmonton would be the first major city in Canada to allow mobile app dispatchers like Uber. The bylaw will be present at a non-statutory public hearing on September 16, however, there is no timeline on when the proposed change might take place.
[via Global News]