Ridesharing app wants into Calgary, cabbies say 'no'
Published Friday, August 15, 2014 5:22PM MDT Last Updated Friday, August 15, 2014 6:36PM MDT
A campaign is underway to get the City of Calgary to loosen the rules and get more cabs on Calgary streets.
Rideshare app "Uber" wants permission to operate in the city, but there is a lot of opposition to it.
The app is sweeping the world’s big cities – including New York City, Amsterdam, Paris, Beijing and Toronto.
It connects passengers with independent drivers - something the City of Calgary says is dangerous because the drivers may not be properly licensed and their cabs may not be regulated.
Uber general manager, Jeff Weshler, spoke at the city’s Taxi and Limousine Advisory ommittee on Friday.
He wanted to clear up any concerns before a report is handed to council.
“Uber is safe,” said Weshler. “We connect riders with the safest rides on the road. That means always knowing the driver’s name, license plate number and rating before getting into the car.”
The City is not alone in resisting the app.
Cab drivers are also against Uber coming in, saying the number of taxi licenses is throttled right now to ensure cabbies make a good living.
They want to keep it that way.
Associated Cab head Roger Richard said there is a reason the industry is regulated.
"You have a company that is trying to integrate into the limousine industry with no investment, no liability, no accountability and charge a fee. What if something goes wrong? What if there’s a liability issue… like an accident? Hey, they are going to turn around and say, 'It is not our fault.'”
Information gathered at committee will be put to council before they decide whether Uber can be used in Calgary.
Currently, Calgary city bylaw does not allow ridesharing services.