Thursday, January 28, 2016

UberX ride service legalized in Edmonton

Edmonton becomes first city in Canada to pass Uber-friendly bylaw | Edmonton Journal:

January 28, 2016 - "Edmonton became the first city in Canada to pass an Uber-friendly bylaw Wednesday, leaving the California-based company scrambling to get provincially approved insurance before a March 1 deadline....

"Alberta’s Superintendent of Insurance ruled last July that Uber’s existing policy does not adequately cover consumers. Since then, at least two insurers have said they are working on policies specific to ride-sharing. None has been approved so far.

"Uber can’t get a licence under the new bylaw without provincially approved insurance, and an Uber driver caught without it could face a $5,000 fine....

"Despite repeated attempts from several councillors, the bylaw contains only a token minimum fare of $3.25 per ride. Council will revisit that in six months, sooner if administration sees anything they judge to be predatory pricing.... The taxi industry will be the only ones allowed to hail a cab on the street or by phone using the regulated rate....

"Uber started operating its UberX service in Edmonton in December 2014. It uses an app to link private individuals and their personal vehicles with paying customers for a rate that’s about 30 per cent less than the regulated taxi rate.

"Edmonton tried and failed to shut down Uber with a court injunction. They’ve since ticketed at least 70 drivers under the old bylaw, but those tickets are still being fought in court."

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