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Taxis, Uber respond to proposed bylaw released by the City
Published Thursday, January 21, 2016 5:17PM MST
Last Updated Thursday, January 21, 2016 6:55PM MST
The city has released documents outlining a bylaw to tackle issues brought about by the arrival of ride-sharing in Edmonton.
City officials released a report containing details on the vehicle-for-hire-bylaw – after Councillors unanimously passed the first reading of the proposed bylaw in November, but asked officials to come back with more details on the fee structure.
On Thursday, those details were released on the City of Edmonton website.
Under the proposed fee structure, UBER would have to pay a corporate licence fee of $50,000, plus six cents for every ride – in addition, another $20,000 for what officials called an accessibility surcharge.
Fees for Uber drivers would also be significantly less than for taxis.
The details were panned by taxi officials, Pascal Ryffel with the Alberta Taxi Group said he was ‘disappointed’ with the bylaw, and said “it’s clear the city administration hasn’t listened to the [taxi] industry”.
“The proposed bylaw doesn’t seem to have any minimum fare, which means that they are likely to be predatory pricing policies by companies like Uber in place, which are really designed to drive existing companies out of business,” Pascal Ryffel with the Alberta Taxi Group said.
However, Uber said the ride-sharing company could work with what was released Thursday, calling it a “workable set of regulations”.
“We’re cautiously optimistic that this is a bylaw that will work for Uber to stay and ridesharing to continue in Edmonton,” Ramit Kar, Uber GM said.
“This gives people the opportunity to get a ride no matter what time, no matter where they are, and this is a great step forward for Canada if it does pass,” Kar said.
City Councillor Andrew Knack understood why the taxi industry wasn’t impressed with the bylaw.
“Any change to this industry was going to have an impact, there is obviously 900 people or so that own a single plate, and they’re the people you feel worse for because no matter what we do, they’re going to be negatively impacted,” Knack said.
Councillors also received the report Thursday; they’ll review it over the coming days and are expected to vote on Tuesday.
With files from Michel Boyer