CALGARY – Calgary has taken another step towards allowing companies like Uber to operate in the city legally.
Calgary’s Taxi and Limousine Advisory Committee (TLAC) met on Tuesday to examine five potential policies that the City of Calgary could adopt to allow private for-hire vehicles to operate alongside taxis and limousines.
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The group moved to support the third option outlined in a three-page report, called the “hybrid open/controlled system,” which would maintain a limit on the number of taxi plates.
Under that option, taxi and limousine companies would be free to set their own rates, but only if they utilize a city-approved smartphone app that confirms driver and passenger identification, offers an estimated fare and allows the customer the option of rejecting the trip.
The proposal would also give taxis exclusive right to operate taxi stands, and prohibit private for-hire drivers from accepting street hails or rides through a dispatch system.
“What we heard today was a very good presentation on the five options that we will be taking to council on the 16th of November,” said City of Calgary’s manager of compliance service Marc Halat. “We had unanimous support on moving with option three.”
Currently, the City of Calgary’s Livery Transportation Bylaw does not allow unlicensed private for-hire vehicles to operate in Calgary due to a variety of public safety concerns.
The bylaw didn’t stop uberX from setting up shop in Calgary; the company launched on Oct. 15, prompting Halat to warn drivers they could face fines up to $4,500.
The City of Calgary said on Tuesday roughly 65 summons had been issued against 17 uberX drivers in Calgary since the company launched.
– With files from Jenna Freeman and Doug Vaessen