Saskatchewan

City of Regina moves forward on ride-hailing regulations

Councillors heard from cab companies and disability advocates Monday night as Regina city councillors decided on the city's new ride-hailing bylaw that would govern the way companies like Uber and Lyft operate.

Final bylaw vote will be held on February 25.

The City of Regina has approved ride-hailing regulations. (Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press)

Councillors heard from cab companies and disability advocates Monday night as Regina city councillors decided on the city's new ride-hailing bylaw that would govern the way companies like Uber and Lyft operate.  

While council heard both sides of the debate whether ride-hailing companies should be allowed on the road, in the end, the councillors voted in favor of creating a bylaw. 

Mayor Michael Fougere said he wholeheartedly supports the regulations.

"This model works. It works across the world," Fougere said. "I'm completely satisfied with the report that's before us. 

"The public has spoken. They want ride-share, let's give it to them." 

Almost all councillors voted in favour of the regulations with the exception of Councillor John Findura.

There were a total of 19 groups who spoke to the city council including MADD Canada, the CNIB, Regina & District Labour Council, taxi companies and riders.

Representatives from Canadian National Institute for the Blind said the services will help people with disabilities.

However, others wanted ride-hailing to have the same rules as Regina taxis, including a proposal to require cameras in ride-hailing vehicles. 

"I don't know why anybody would object to having a camera in the car," said Co-op Taxi's Wendell Wilke.

"In my 45 years. I had four knives pulled at me, I got shot at and I got stabbed in the chest with a needle."

After a lengthy debate, that idea failed to gain traction and the regulations passed as proposed.

The proposed regulations will now be turned into a bylaw and voted on at the next City Council meeting on February 25th.

The rules would include: 

  • Each ride-hailing company would need a single license. License price would depend on the number of vehicles the company has. 
  • No caps on the number of vehicles that can operate with these bylaws. 
  • No minimum fare. 
  • No cameras required in the ride-hailing cars. 
  • GPS tracking data would be submitted to the city

"This is exciting for Regina," Councillor Lori Bresciani​ said. "Young people here want this and they want it now." 

Regulations approved by the City of Regina include no caps on the number of ride-hailing vehicles and no mandatory cameras. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Partially because of the longer debate around ride-sharing, several items didn't get debated at city council. 

The recommendations surrounding parking on front lawns and the question of whether to gift the YWCA land in the Cathedral area were pushed back as a result of the flood of people who spoke at the meeting.

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