Calgary

TappCar launches in Calgary, bringing new ride-hailing option to the city

Alberta-based TappCar officially entered the Calgary market Tuesday, after the city relaxed its bylaws to allow for more ride-hailing services that don't follow the traditional taxi model.

Bylaw changes inspired by Uber's temporary arrival last fall paved the way for other, similar services

TappCar spokesperson Pascal Ryffel said the Edmonton startup is now officially available in Calgary. (CBC)

Alberta-based TappCar officially entered the Calgary market Tuesday, after the city relaxed its bylaws to allow for more ride-hailing services that don't follow the traditional taxi model.

"Calgarians have been asking for a service that combines state-of-the-art technology and high customer service standards, and does so without cutting corners on insurance and other safety measures," company spokesman Pascal Ryffel said in a release.

"As of today, TappCar is that service in Calgary."

TappCar is an Edmonton-based company that launched there in March.

Sheldon Kennedy was the ceremonial first customer for TappCar in Calgary, and the company said it will donate one dollar from every ride during its first three days of operation in the city to the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, which supports children and families who have been traumatized by abuse.

The company is also actively looking to recruit drivers in Calgary and pledging to respect new municipal and provincial rules aimed at regulating ride-hailing services and the insurance they must carry.

Calgary city council voted to change the city's taxi rules in February, largely in response to the temporary arrival of Uber last fall.

The world's largest ride-hailing service launched unilaterally in Calgary in October, despite being in violation of the the city's Livery Transport Bylaw at the time, asserting that the rules were outdated and didn't apply to its business model.

A judge disagreed, however, and granted the city an injunction forbidding Uber from operating in Calgary until the rules were sorted out.

However, once the city approved bylaw changes allowing for ride-hailing services to operate alongside traditional taxis and limousines, Uber announced the new rules — which included licensing fees and mandatory police background checks for drivers — were too costly and refused to resume operations in Calgary.

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