In a recently released Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) staff report on licensing for vehicles for hire, it has been concluded that ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft will eventually come to the region as it has to all major destinations in Canada, reports The Chronicle Herald.
The report highlights that Uber is keen to enter the Halifax market as shown by a citizen survey the company carrier out by sharing the link with its customers who live in the region.
With over 13,400 respondents, the survey revealed that 88% of Halifax residents want Uber or Lyft to operate in the region with almost 73% citing safety as the main reason. The respondents also stated that taxis were too expensive and that ride-sharing would be a better alternative.
“Citizens said that availability, dependability through the app showing potential passengers where the driver is, who the driver is and the type of vehicle were essential to feeling safer,” the staff report said.
“Both Uber and Lyft and similar applications are what you would call dispatch services and, generally speaking, HRM licenses both the operators and the vehicles,” John Traves, the municipality’s legal director, told council.
“There is probably not a lot that would prevent Uber and Lyft from operating today (in HRM) other than the fact that they would have to use licensed vehicles, inspected, and licensed drivers like any other dispatch service and have a fare structure.”
Based on the report, the HRM staff in collaboration with Halifax Transit will now recommend the necessary bylaw amendments to allow ride-sourcing in the region.