Edmonton is first city to legalize Uber


Taxi drivers aren’t happy

Edmonton, January 29 (CINEWS):  There were dozens of irate taxi drivers, many of South-Asian origin protesting loudly about the controversial decision. In a move that is being watched closely in cities across Canada, Edmonton became the first Canadian municipality to legalize Uber.
Uber will be allowed to legally operate in the city starting March 1, provided the company’s drivers are able to get legal commercial insurance approved by the province. Approval of the bylaw allows the city to crack down on drivers who do not comply with the law. City administration said Uber has made the commitment that it will cease operating when the bylaw comes into effect March 1, and will not resume operations until drivers can get the proper insurance.
After much debate, council agreed to set a minimum price of $3.25 per trip for rides offered by Uber and other private transportation providers (PTPs) that may wish to start operations in Edmonton.
Taxi rides that are hailed on the street, at a cab stand or ordered over the phone still face regulated rates set by the city. Uber cars are not allowed to be hailed on the street and the nature of the app doesn’t allow that.
The company will pay a rate of $70,000 a year to operate in Edmonton.
The council chamber was packed with drivers again Wednesday. However, unlike the day before, they were quiet and allowed councillors to go about their business without interruption.
Most of the drivers left before council voted on second and final reading of the bylaw.
On Tuesday afternoon, debate was interrupted when drivers opposed to Uber started loudly chanting “shame, shame” inside the council chamber.
It took police and peace officers an hour to clear the room before the meeting resumed with only councillors, city staff and the media present. Taxi and Uber drivers were not allowed back inside council chambers.

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