Plans for new ride-sharing legislation a concern, Sask. Taxi Cab Association says
Oct. 25, 2017
The Government of Saskatchewan’s plans to introduce new legislation to allow ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft to operate in Saskatchewan is not sitting well with the organization representing the province’s taxi companies.
The Saskatchewan Taxi Cab Association says there are concerns cities could create different rules for ride-sharing companies that would take away a level playing field for standard taxi drivers. STCA spokesperson Shondra Boire says transportation network companies need to be held to the same standard as taxis.
“Allowing TNCs to operate under a different set of rules devalues long-standing and necessary local bylaws that have been established to ensure public service and safety and has led to very negative outcomes in other jurisdictions,” Boire said in a written release.
Boire added that ride-sharing companies would need to follow proper rules surrounding in-car cameras, annual inspections, and police background checks for all drivers.
The announcement for new legislation in Wednesday’s throne speech saw Premier Brad Wall make ride-sharing a priority as a way to curb Saskatchewan’s drinking and driving rates. The government also promised to create more affordable insurance options for ride-sharing services. The STCA agreed with that option and says it could help push a flex-fleet service of part-time cab drivers.
The STCA has also asked the province for a full review of their legislation related to taxis and ride-sharing.
“The devil is in the details, and the STCA urges the provincial government to conduct a fulsome review of policy and legislation and consult with all stakeholders in the industry to avoid mistakes that jurisdictions in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta have made,” Boire said.
If the Government of Saskatchewan passes new legislation, it will allow residents to start using ride-share services like Uber and Lyft because insurance will be affordable. The province says it has spoken with Uber officials who have expressed interest in opening up in Saskatchewan’s larger centres. If that is the case, a solution will still be needed for ride-sharing in the province’s smaller communities.