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The City of Calgary has had an injunction in place since November 20, 2015 that prevents anyone from operating as an Uber driver. On November 29, 2016, a lawyer representing Uber’s drivers asked for The City to agree to lift its injunction. The City has agreed and is moving forward with its application to lift the injunction.

The City has agreed as there is no longer legal standing for its injunction; Uber has met its licensing requirements, and Uber drivers have met the safety and administrative requirements of the Livery Transport Bylaw.

To be licensed as a Transportation Network Company, the operator must:

  • Complete the application form;
  • Meet the App requirements; and,
  • Pay the licensing fees.

To be licensed as a Transportation Network Company Driver, applicants must provide proof of the following:

  • Registration with a licensed Transportation Network Company;
  • Calgary Police Service criminal background check, with a vulnerable sector check;
  • Valid Alberta driver’s licence, Class 1, 2 or 4;
  • Valid commercial insurance;
  • Eligibility to work in Canada;
  • Valid vehicle registration; and,
  • Valid vehicle inspection.

More information about vehicle-for-hire services is available on calgary.ca/taxi.

On November 28, 2016, City Council approved amendments to the Livery Transport Bylaw. These amendments include the addition of a pay-per-trip licence fee option, and the ability for Transportation Network Companies to choose the payment option that best suits its business model. City Council also approved a fee freeze for all vehicle-for-hire services, maintaining 2016 prices in 2017, as well as the release of 222 taxi plate licences.

 

CITY/STAKEHOLDER ROLES

  • City of Calgary’s Legal department will submit the application to lift the injunction.
  • City Administration has led the bylaw amendment review process, and will continue to be responsible for processing applications, as well as auditing and enforcing regulations.

 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

1. Can Uber now operate in Calgary?

Once the injunction is lifted, Uber can operate in Calgary. The City of Calgary has agreed to ask the Court of Queen’s Bench to lift its injunction that prevents anyone from operating as an Uber driver. The application is expected to be approved in the next few days.

 

2. What changes were approved at City Council that enticed Uber to operate in Calgary? On November 28, 2016, City Council approved several amendments to the Livery Transport Bylaw including the addition of an alternate licence fee payment option for Transportation Network Companies as well as improvements to the application process for Transportation Network Company drivers. Transportation Network Companies can now choose the licence fee payment option that works best for their business model. The recently approved licence fee payment option uses a per trip payment structure. More information is available at calgary.ca/taxi.

 

3. How many rideshare companies operate in Calgary?

There are currently three rideshare companies operating in Calgary; six companies are licensed to operate.

 

4. What’s The City’s role with taxi, limousine and ridesharing companies?
We license and regulate the vehicle-for-hire industry, including taxi, limousine and Transportation Network Companies (ridesharing companies). Our main concern is the safety of customers and drivers who use and offer vehicle-for-hire services in Calgary.

 

5. What is the difference between a ridesharing company and a Transportation Network Company?

There is no difference. The City of Calgary refers to ridesharing companies as Transportation Network Companies within the Livery Transport Bylaw. Ridesharing refers to a service where a person can use a website or app to arrange a ride in a private vehicle, driven by its owner, for a fee. In Calgary, ridesharing companies can legally provide this service if they are licensed through The City. (We are not referring to carpooling, vanpooling or public transit.)

 

6. What is the difference between taxi services and ridesharing companies?

Taxis can accept rides that are street hailed or booked ahead of time (by phone, website or app). Taxis charge a rate that is capped at a maximum regulated amount. Ridesharing companies can arrange rides with passengers or customers through an app (not through street hails). Ridesharing companies charge unregulated rates not subject to a maximum amount.

 

7. Is it cheaper to use ridesharing services versus a traditional taxi?

Not necessarily. App rates for ridesharing companies can fluctuate based on demand, whereas taxis have a capped rate. When app rates are high, street hail or call a taxi to benefit from a rate that is capped at the regulated maximum amount. More information on rates can be found on our rates & fares page.

 

8. Wasn’t the Livery Transport Bylaw just amended?
Yes, on February 22, 2016 Council approved a comprehensive package of bylaw amendments that regulate Transportation Network Companies (TNC), TNC drivers and TNC apps in Calgary. They came into effect on April 4, 2016. The initial bylaw amendments were effective—ridesharing companies began operating within the amended bylaws. But, bylaws need to be tested in the real world. Part of the regulatory process requires bylaws to be amended from time to time to make improvements and to address new issues. We make the best decisions with the information we have, but we need to see how the market responds to the bylaw.

Sean Chu

Sean Chu

Sean Chu arrived in Calgary from Taiwan in 1985 speaking not a word of English, and within 7 years he was a sworn officer with the Calgary Police Service. From that point on Sean worked with the Calgary Police Service as on Officer for 21 years in a number of roles until 2013.

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