Nenshi calls Uber 'dicks,' and says sex offenders can pass screening process
Calgary mayor slams ride-hailing service while in Boston using a ride-hailing service
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi might be regretting his choice of words after video has emerged of him slamming the ride-hailing service Uber while on a business trip in Boston recently.
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"Uber, there is no polite way of saying this, has a brilliant business model and are dicks," Nenshi said in a Periscope video obtained by Calgary media.
In the video, he is using a U.S. ride-hailing service called Lyft and speaking candidly with the driver, who also drives for Uber. It appears as though he isn't aware he is being recorded.
"They are honestly the worst people in the world. I have never dealt with people like this before," Nenshi said of Uber officials.
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"I was at a conference and I met Travis, the CEO, and I was like, 'Oh, it's because you are a dick and this has percolated through the entire organization,'" he continued.
Calgary has had a rocky relationship with Uber since it launched in October, over insurance and driver screening, among other issues.
The city drafted a bylaw that would allow the service to operate, but the company said it was far too restrictive.
Uber hasn't operated in Calgary for months.
In the video, the mayor told the driver that the company's screening process was subpar.
"We sent people to sign up to be Uber drivers to see if they could get through the background check," he said.
"How we found registered sex offenders and people with convictions for violent crimes? I don't want to know why we know those people … but they all made it through the theoretical background screening. And so we were like, you know what Uber? We are going to do the background screening, the cops are going to do the background screening."
Uber, responding to Nenshi's comments, said in a statement late Friday it still has hope to operate in the city.
"It's disappointing to see Mayor Nenshi stoop to name calling and questionable tactics," spokesperson Jean-Christophe de Le Rue said.
"We hope this can give way to a more constructive conversation that benefits the riders and drivers of Calgary."
The mayor did conclude his Uber thoughts on a note of optimism.
"We will get there eventually," Nenshi said. "It's all going to sort itself out."
A spokesperson for the mayor's office said there would be "no comment" until Monday.