While complaining that taxi drivers are struggling to compete with Uber and other ride-share services, Calgary’s taxi industry is demanding changes to the city’s livery transport bylaws, which govern how both taxis and ride-shares are allowed to operate (via CBC News).
Taxi drivers are “having a tough time making ends meet and now are doing second jobs to bolster their income,” said Kurt Enders, president of Checker Transportation Group. Calling for a cap on the number of ride-sharing vehicles on the road, Enders pointed out that the number of taxi licences are limited while the number of Uber drivers are not.
City administration is now recommending a full review of the livery transport bylaw. According to the administration, an accelerated review of the bylaw could be funded with $1.1 million from the livery transport services reserve fund in order to complete it by next year:
It’s been three years since the current rules were implemented and Uber entered into the market, and Coun. George Chahal said it’s time to explore the lessons learned during that time.
“We need to take a look and make this fair, fair for everybody involved. Fair for the taxi drivers and fair for the [ride-share] drivers,” he said.
City council will decide whether or not to proceed with the review on May 27.
The number of trips taken by taxi and ride-share companies in Calgary topped 10 million last year, 40% of which were completed by ride-shares.