Legislation has been introduced that will allow ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft set up shop in Saskatchewan.
“We’re looking to be collaborative with the government to ensure that we can start operations here as soon as possible,” said Ramit Kar, the general manager of Uber for Western Canada, adding he is “hopeful that will be the case” and that he will be working with “all levels of government” to help shape rules that “make sense” for ridesharing services.
Introduced Thursday, the Vehicles For Hire Act introduced a number of stipulations for what the government is calling “transportation network companies.” Companies like Uber or Lyft must file written evidence of a motor vehicle liability insurance policy with a minimum limit of $1 million. The company must also insure each vehicle used under The Automobile Accident Insurance Act.
The Vehicles for Hire Act also sets out requirements for drivers who are hoping to drive through the app-based services. Drivers must undergo mandatory criminal record checks and obtain a Class 4 driver’s license which permits them to operate taxis or limousines.
“The fight against impaired driving is a priority for our government, and Saskatchewan people have told us this will provide another option for them to get home safely,” said Joe Hargrave, the minister responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance, in a press release. “This legislation provides a framework for licensing and insurance, sets out appropriate safeguards for the public, and gives municipalities the authority to determine the right public transportation mix for their communities.”
“We believe, from our legislation, it will create a fair and level playing field. What happens in the municipalities is entirely up to them,” said Joe Hargrave, minister responsible for SGI. “The cities and the municipalities will decide how it works for each individual ride share company and the taxis.”
Between April and June, 15,500 people attempted to book a ride with Uber in Saskatchewan, the company said.