Uber and Lyft might be coming to Saskatchewan as the government has approved ride-hailing regulations.
According to a new report from CBC, the provincial government announced the new regulations on Thursday, which include mandating ridesharing drivers to have annual criminal record checks and vehicle inspections, $1 million in liability insurance and at least a Class 5 driver’s license.
Minister responsible for SGI Joe Hargrave said the reason for the delay in this legislation was consultation with all groups involved.
“We just wanted to continue to go back and meet with the various groups as late as (Wednesday) quite honestly,” Hargrave said. “We were still talking to the taxi association, we were still talking to people (involved in the industry), those groups, everybody wanted to be heard, and they wanted to be heard right at the last minute.”
The legislation has been applauded by advocates with groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving because it provides another option to get a safe ride home.
“Saskatchewan has some of the strongest impaired driving legislation in the country, but in addition to having effective legislation and strong penalties, it is crucial to ensure the availability of safe, convenient and reliable transportation options,” MADD Canada Regional Manager Michelle Okere said in a news release.
Lyft says they look forward to working with local municipalities to develop laws that will bring their services to the province in the near future. As for Uber, they also say they look forward to working with municipalities, especially Saskatoon and Regina, to update laws so transportation services like Uber can launch in Saskatchewan.
“We look forward to working with municipalities, especially Saskatoon and Regina, as they work to update bylaws to launch more transportation options like Uber,” said Jean-Christophe de Le Rue, an Uber Canada spokesperson, in a statement.
“We are thrilled that the province has approved regulations that enable ride sharing to complement existing transportation services in Saskatchewan,” said Aaron Zifkin, Lyft’s managing director for Canada.
The rules go into effect on December 14, allowing municipalities to officially develop and pass their own bylaws to open the doors for ride-sharing services.