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Uber 'applauds' City for passing vehicle-for-hire bylaw, taxi group 'disappointed'
Published Wednesday, January 27, 2016 4:56PM MST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 27, 2016 7:18PM MST
After a series of meetings over a bylaw that would allow ride-sharing companies like Uber to operate in Edmonton legally, that bylaw was passed by City Council Wednesday.
With eight councillors voting in favour, the bylaw passed third reading late Wednesday afternoon.
The bylaw includes the creating of two licences: one for ride-sharing companies like Uber, the other for taxis. Plus, Uber would pay $70,000 every year for all of their cars to operate in Edmonton, in addition to six cents per trip, while taxis would have to pay $410 per year for their licence.
Discussion on the bylaw has been met with protests from taxi drivers – two separate council meetings on the subject were interrupted when the taxi drivers in attendance started protesting.
The bylaw passed Wednesday will go into effect March 1.
Shortly after the decision was made, a statement was released on behalf of Uber’s General Manager for Alberta, Ramit Kar.
“Uber applauds the City of Edmonton for its leadership in being the first Canadian jurisdiction to adopt progressive regulations that embrace ridesharing.
“While these newly adopted regulations contain concessions for ridesharing service providers, the rules put in place a workable regulatory approach.”
Later the Alberta Taxi Group issued a statement in response to the vote, saying the group was disappointed, and the decision leaves Edmontonians “at the mercy of an unregulated market”.
In the statement, the group said Uber “set the agenda” and operated in the City illegally “without regard for the democratic process”.
Pascal Ryffel, spokesperson for the group, called the bylaw “essentially exactly what Uber has asked for since the beginning.
With files from Breanna Karstens-Smith