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Monday, February 8, 2016

Safe Transportation Options on the Way

That’s what The City is delivering because that’s what Calgarians told us they want. We are proposing new changes to our Livery Transport Bylaw that will create the opportunity for Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber to legally operate in Calgary. 

The City and Uber had issued a joint agreement in December stating that we were working together to develop solutions for new transportation options that are safe and reliable for Calgarians. Today, Uber told Calgarians that our proposed bylaws are unworkable.

The City believes that the proposed bylaw changes are workable and fair for TNCs. Here’s why:

  • We believe that all TNC drivers must undergo a Calgary Police Service (CPS) criminal history check. These criminal history checks are the most thorough background checks available and include vulnerable sector checks (e.g. checks for pardons for such things as sexual offences) as well as national police information. Current taxi drivers must undergo these checks to qualify for a license.
  • We believe that all TNC vehicles should undergo a provincially-approved vehicle inspection every six months, a regulation that our taxi industry already complies with. These inspections are widely available throughout Calgary.
  • We believe that all TNCs should be required to submit trip data, driver availability, and trip volumes. This allows us to ensure that quality customer service is attained. In fact, this is something our taxi industry already provides us. This data has assisted the police in different types of criminal investigations and is another way to monitor citizen safety. The trip data also helps The City make good evidence-based policy decisions.
  • We believe that insurance is a very important part of this equation and we continue to inform drivers, passengers and the general public about risks involved in using private for-hire vehicle services. The Government of Alberta has issued an advisory notice on ride sharing services and the insurance risk they currently pose to drivers and the public, noting any third party involved in an accident in or with one of these vehicles may not have insurance.
  • We believe the proposed licensing fee of $220 per driver, per year is reasonable to help with the operational cost of enforcement. In addition, other fees include a Calgary Police Services criminal history check of $30, a vulnerable sector check of $25 (only if finger prints are required) and a vehicle safety inspection fee ranging from $140 to $179. TNCs have the opportunity to subsidize these fees or pay for them outright to support their drivers.
These proposed bylaw changes will allow TNCs to operate in a fair and competitive market. They address citizen, driver and passenger safety and support accessibility, reliability, fairness, competition and customer service.

Private-for-hire vehicles to operate in Calgary


  1. This is the biggest load of crap from city council I've seen in a while. Services like Uber thrive because they're economical and because the taxi companies are brutally bad. The people of calgary want Uber but the city council who claims to represent us wants to make it hard enough that Uber gives up and goes away. Just another in a long string of policy decisions that don't actually represent the will of the people. Instead of a council comprised of only 2 minorities and 2 women, when will we stop pretendin that a massive majority of white men represent all of calgary well? Chu is the only one on council with any sense or the pulse of the people.

    1. We believe that the people of Calgary want Uber and that is why we are working with Transportation Network Companies, like Uber, and traditional taxi and limo companies to create a solution that works for everyone. Unfortunately, there is no one-size fits all policy solution that will work for everyone. We appreciate the public’s patience and we are very close to a solution. Please tune in to the Council discussion scheduled for February 22, 2016.

    2. Sounds like just another cash grab for the City. Most Uber drivers are part time supplementing their household income while safely offering alternate transportation.

      Yearly license fee is much too high. Twice yearly inspection on my 2016 Luxury vehicle? Pointless and yet another tax grab.

      Collecting data?? That's redundant. Uber collects that anyway. If you need that information allow Uber to provide it on an as needed basis.

      We are already background checked to become an Uber driver before we can even sign on. Again redundant.

    3. These are great questions. We hope that the information below provides clarification.

      If the bylaw amendments are passed by Council on February 22, Transportation Network Companies, such as Uber, would be required to pay a TNC Licence Fee of $1753 and Transportation Network Company drivers would be required to pay a $220 licence fee. The Transportation Network Company could cover the cost of the $220 on behalf of the driver if they wanted too.

      The 134-point provincially-approved mechanical inspection fee would vary depending on the mechanic. Ensuring that every vehicle is inspected by a qualified mechanic is an important safety component of the licensing process.

      Transportation Network Companies, like Uber use a third party service provider to complete criminal background checks. They do not include checks for pardoned sexual offenders. The Calgary Police Service criminal history check provides the most thorough criminal history check and includes vulnerable sector checks (i.e., checks for pardons for sexual offences) as well as national police information.

      For more information visit us here:

  2. Anything involving costs, private sector, such as Uber will object. The reality is they are wanting to operate a profit-based service on public roads (your taxes pay for these roads!) to provide a privately funded service (govn't is not subsidizing any Uber car ride for the passenger). As for the stories of escalated costs some passengers have experienced when they desperately needed an uber ride, buyer/passenger beware.

    Uber has to respect: its employees (City of Caglary is actually making it easier long term on Uber from standpoint of risk management and public safety by asking for criminal check, etc.) and ensuring some basic safety for Uber's passengers. Otherwise how can the public know's Uber-certified ..after they get into the car?

  3. This is quite a prohibitive list. I have *never* had a positive taxi experience and I believe that this is in large part due to the bureaucratic nature of that industry. Forcing ride-sharing into the same bureaucracy negates the disruptive and innovative nature inherent in the business and societal model.

    In particular, I agree with:
    - CPS checks
    - Annual vehicle checks

    I'm lukewarm on the insurance arguments.

    I wholeheartedly disagree with *required* trip data. Free market policies will be more deterministic regarding "quality customer service". People will gravitate towards drivers that present data that *the rider* is interested in, rather than what *the government* is interested (purportedly on the rider's behalf).

  4. This does really sound like a cash-grab or slow-down from the city:

    1) Sure CPS check, that's no big deal. Uber already does background checks but I don't think they'd have an issue with adding CPS (if they don't already) to the check. A one time fee of $30 seems not too bad (though skip the rest of the check levels as it seems like it's just bureaucracy going mad).

    2) A vehicle inspection ($180!!) every 6 months? That's a bit excessive. I don't think it will be as big a deal with Uber as they don't allow vehicles over 10 (I believe) years, so it's not like we are dealing with the rust-buckets you see sometimes trying to pass as a taxi. Perhaps if the vehicle was >20 years old, THEN a 6 month inspection might be required. On a vehicle that's <2 years old? C'mon, get real!

    3) Submitting trip data to ensure "quality service" is attained? Yeah, that's really worked well for the taxi industry. ಠ_ಠ
    Uber already has their quality of service kept high thanks to their rating system. The city doesn't need to interfere with a system that already works (though, if they actually want some metrics, Uber could provide them on an as-needed basis).

    4) I believe Uber already covers their drivers above and beyond what their own insurance covers by $5,000,000. Not sure why this isn't seen as enough.

    5) And here's the cash grab. A licensing fee to "help with the operational cost of enforcement". What enforcement would be required (if most of the unnecessary items above are scrapped, "enforcement" should be minimal).

    Why do TNCs need "to operate in a fair and competitive market"? If the taxis aren't able to provide a competitive and appealing product, why does the city see it as their role to cripple anyone that might threaten them? There's no need to subsidize the ice delivery man just because every home can have ice makers. If they are an ineffective industry, let them wither away if they can't compete. The city's archaic and unfair livery system are what got them in this place anyway, so let the taxi companies and the city lie in the bed they've made for themselves. No need to punish consumers and innovative companies trying to bring a product to people who want it.

    1. The City is working with the taxi, limo, and Transportation Network Companies to come up with a solution that will provide better transportation options and customer service to all Calgarians.

      Drivers using Uber ride sharing services may believe that Uber’s supplemental insurance provides the necessary coverage. However, Albertans are at risk of not having access to insurance protection and accident benefits under Alberta law if using Uber’s ride sharing services, and potentially other ride sharing services as well.
      For more information about Transportation Network Companies and insurance, check out Alberta’s Superintendent of Insurance advisory notice regarding these private for-hire vehicle services.

    2. Why not all these requirements for TNC.
      Let come to inspection .
      It's lot of difference driving work to home.or driving for hire.
      It's lot of wear and tear on vehicle.
      Driver license .when you drive you should know route because GPS babies stuck in rush hour they don't know what to do,what is's cost money to customers.

  5. "We believe that all TNCs should be required to submit trip data, driver availability, and trip volumes. This allows us to ensure that quality customer service is attained."

    If this has been done for the currently existing taxi companies, why is their level of customer service so poor?

    1. Trip data for city to find out how much vehicles require.

  6. This is exactly the appropriate response. If TNCs want to operate in Calgary, they now know the rules. Note the insurance warning. Most TNCs won't have appropriate insurance, so you are at risk with no compensation if you choose to use that type of service.

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  8. I am a Uber Driver and I have been unemployed since April 2015 it would be nice if you guys can hurry this up so I don't lose my house and car and make some kind of income until I can find a job

  9. TNC wants piece of pie without paying for it

  10. ''vehicle inspection every six months'' OK! Seriously? that must be joke of the day. What a rip-off

  11. What a load of nonsense. Don't regulate Uber, just deregulate taxis.

  12. What a disappoint decision of the council, Calgary is living in the 19th century, not even 20th century. I now understand why we stuck in the oil business because the leader of this great city really live in the old world, have no great understanding how new economy works.
    My view:
    1. CPS check? I am on the border line for this. Who should we trust more? I think no one can guarantee people pass the security check will not have problem tomorrow. Both are equally good or bad.
    2. Inspection twice a year? Are you crazy? Rideshare is not taxi. Why not g ahead require inspection for all vehicle on road? I would rather request driver to disclose age of car and mileage and let the customer make their own decision.
    3. Trip data submission? Are we in the police country? If police needs the date, get a subpoena.
    4. Commercial insurance? Rideshare is not really commercial service like taxi. We should demand coverage to cover the risk we are trying to prevent, as long as it is covered, does it matters if it is commercial or private?
    5. License fee? Are you crazy? Now you are pushing rideshare drivers to work like a taxi, on the road all the time. You are removing the really rideshare drivers who may only do it once a while. It should be based on per trip.

  13. From what I can see the City is trying to prop up a dying industry, the taxi industry, by making it difficult for companies like Uber to do what they do best, provide a much cheaper alternative.

  14. It's name rideshare but work same as taxi; first of all we need to define, 'What is rideshare?'