Monday, November 16, 2015

Council paves the way for transportation network companies

The City is moving ahead with rule changes that will open the doors to more transportation choices for Calgarians and allow private for-hire vehicle services to operate here.

City Council has directed The City to craft new rules by mid-February that will allow Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like Uber to offer private for-hire vehicle services.

In a report to Council today, Administration recommended a hybrid Open/Controlled entry system to regulate safety for both taxis and private for-hire vehicles and allow some flexibility in setting rates. This option will allow private for-hire vehicles to operate in Calgary if they fulfill the following requirements:

  • Vehicles must be insured according to Government of Alberta regulations;
  • Drivers must have a driver’s license that is deemed acceptable by the Province (for example, a class 4 license);
  • Drivers must pass a rigorous background check.

Does that mean I can drive for Uber or hail a ride with an Uber driver?

Not yet. The City continues to advise drivers, passengers and the public about the risks involved in current operation of private for-hire vehicle services. The Government of Alberta issued an advisory notice about the insurance risks of ride-sharing services, noting any third party involved in an accident in or with one of these vehicles may not have adequate or appropriate insurance. Additional risks relate to the lack of oversight regarding vehicle inspections on private for-hire vehicles and the level of training and security checks drivers undergo.

Watch Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s Q&A on Council’s decision:

The City is seeking to temporarily put the brakes on drivers using the Uber mobile app who are in breach of the Livery Transport Bylaw. The City filed an application for an injunction to temporarily stop drivers from offering private for-hire vehicle services until safety, insurance and regulatory requirements are met. A hearing is scheduled in Court of Queen’s Bench November 20.

Private-for-hire vehicles to operate in Calgary


  1. Will such companies like Uber be required to pay a flat, single corporate license annual fee to the City of Calgary for the privilege of operating within City of Calgary boundaries? It is a corporate privilege for them. It is not a corporate right at all since they are a private business. Not publicly funded.

    1. Hi there. We're currently in the process of researching and developing our bylaw. Because of this, we don’t have any details as to how or whether licensing fees will be involved, nor do we have details on how the bylaw will be structured.

  2. Très bien Monsieur Mayor! En Français!

  3. I think this is the right move. Companies should follow the city rules if they want to run their business in Calgary. When transporting people or packages commercial insurance and registration is required. This should not change. A background check and fingerprinting should also be a must.

  4. I'm glad that this process is finally coming to fruition. The criminal background checks and insurance policies are a no-brainer in my opinion and hopefully the citizens will receive the level of service they deserve.