Taxi companies in Calgary have been suggesting that Uber is getting a back room deal with the city. The ride-sharing company has been holding out on entering the market, saying it can’t operate under the city’s regulations.
Yesterday, a meeting was held to consider new rules that would reduce the fees ride-sharing companies have to pay. The meeting was called because city administration wants to revisit a ride-sharing bylaw that was approved by council in February.
A representative from Uber was present at the meeting and said that if the bylaw amendments are approved by city council, the ride-sharing company would return to Calgary.
Marc Halat, Manager of Compliance Services with the city says the taxi industry wasn’t engaged because that system is working. In a statement, he said:
“I won’t deny that Uber does provide a sense of pressure, but we’ve known they were coming, we’ve been trying to develop a framework that will accommodate everybody and they’re not getting any more of a considered effort on my part than anybody else.”
However, taxi drivers who lined up on Thursday to address the committee said that the taxi companies disagreed. In a statement, president of Calgary’s Associated Cab Roger Richard said:
“There’s no doubt this was all orchestrated by city hall. It’s a backroom deal.”
Kurt Enders, owner of Checker Yellow Cabs, is frustrated by the considerations given to Uber. In a statement, he said that the taxi industry was blindsided by the proposal changes.
The Liberal Transport Advisory Committee has asked for more time to consider its options and will meet again November 18.
[via Calgary Herald]