City council passes first reading of bylaw to regulate Uber

Edmonton, November 20 (CINEWS): Uber has operated in Edmonton illegally since December 2014; individuals give rides to strangers using their personal vehicles and insurance. As in many cities across Canada, Uber is a contentious issue, specifically, with the Edmonton taxi industry. Taxis abide by fixed prices set by taxi metres and are highly regulated unlike Uber. The taxi industry views Uber as undermining their business since they do not playuber_story by the same rules.
On November 17 councillors passed the first reading of a bylaw to regulate Uber. The proposed bylaw includes creating a new class license to accommodate services like Uber. Currently, the bylaw also requires Uber to pay $920 for each of its drivers; a point Uber takes issue with. The city has taken into consideration that services like Uber have demand with citizens and therefore, they aim to have Uber regulated with clear guidelines for licensing and insurance. Uber operating without regulation has caused problems in enforcing laws against Uber drivers. One of the goals with regulation is allowing enforcement to be possible for the safety of citizens.
In order to receive further information on all their options regarding Uber prior to any final approval, the council has sent the bylaw back to the administration for more research and consultation. The city administration have been given a January 26 deadline to present the information, this will allow councillors to have the information for when they debate on the details of their plan.
Uber is happy with the delay in final approval, since it allows them to operate through the busy holiday season. On the other hand, the taxi industry worries about allowing Uber to remain at the cost of them losing business.

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