Saskatoon cabbies are starting to feel the effects of ridesharing.
According to a new report from the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, Saskatoon cab drivers are dramatically feeling the financial effects of ridesharing, particularly on the nights and weekends.
Malik Umar Draz, president of United Steelworkers Local 2014, which represents more than 400 city cab drivers, said that the introduction of ridesharing services in the city are starting to drastically damage the taxi industry.
Saskatoon city council approved ridesharing regulations last December, much to the union’s chagrin, and Uber began operations in the city in February.
“I see [a] big difference, especially for the night drivers and on the weekend,” Draz said. “Big time, big time.”
Four ridesharing companies are now operating in Saskatoon: Uber, RideX, Riide-hail, and Rel8Well Travel.
“Saskatchewan Government Insurance spokesman Tyler McMurchy said as of Monday there were 478 active ride-share drivers in Saskatoon and another 22 in nearby communities,” reads the report.
Josh McConnell, an Uber Canada spokesperson, said in an email that there is “ongoing excitement” for the introduction of ridesharing services in Saskatoon, but said that the company doesn’t release info on specific markets.
Draz told the Star Phoenix that cab drivers have been told by the United Steelworkers union that they would have their licences immediately deactivated if they were caught driving for ride-sharing companies on their free time.
“To me, it’s not fair and it’s not a level playing field,” he said.