Uber to launch in Calgary after prolonged bylaw battle
The ride sharing service Uber is back in the city on Tuesday after council approved changes to the bylaw overseeing the service, an act that many taxi drivers say came from back room deal made with Mayor Nenshi.
As of 2:00 p.m. the ride sharing service will be back in business, just in time for the Christmas holidays.
The company claims there is a lot of interest in the company, saying that it has hundreds of interested drivers ready to take to the streets.
It also says that around 100,000 people have downloaded the app.
This will be the second time that Uber launched in Calgary. The company first opened for business back in 2015, but was forced to cease operations because of a court injunction from the city.
The city cited safety concerns at the time.
Last month, the city approved bylaw changes that would see ride share companies pay between $5,000 and $20,000 in fees, plus per driver and per trip rates.
That change, including a streamline process for drivers to apply to drive for the service, was the tipping point that allowed the company to do business in the city.
On Tuesday, former Flame Mike Commodore helped usher in the service to Calgary, admitting that he's driven for the service south of the border before.
"Every once in a while, in Phoenix, I'll dust my driving gloves off and I'll drive down there. I think it's a fun thing to do. Here in Calgary, not only is it fun, but with a down economy, it's a quick and easy way to make cash. I think it's a good service."
Calgary’s existing taxi companies say they will be greatly impacted by Uber entering the market.
Many drivers are questioning why the city changed the bylaw in the first place, saying that it came from a back room deal with the mayor.
Mayor Nenshi has denied the allegations.