An Update on Ride Sharing in Saskatoon
I know that many people in Saskatoon are interested in the possibility of having ride-sharing companies—such as Uber, TappCar, or Lyft—come into our city.
In order for this to happen, the provincial government first must pass legislation, create regulations, and sort out issues such as insurance and licensing. A couple of months ago the government introduced legislation that would begin this process, but it has yet to be passed and come into effect.
The City of Saskatoon is not able to pass any bylaws before the Province of Saskatchewan first changes the laws. However, we are doing work in preparation for this to happen. A few months ago, City Council voted in favour of continuing down the path of allowing for ride sharing services to be set up in Saskatoon as well as to make changes to the current taxi industry so their services can be more flexible and responsive to the needs of users.
Because of this, the City’s administration is producing a report outlining options for regulation based on the experiences of other cities. By evaluating how this has been implemented in other municipalities, we have the opportunity to learn from the ideas that have been most successful.
The City of Saskatoon has also been in conversation with the provincial government about ride sharing and have asked for clarity on this matter. As part of this, I have communicated the following principles to them:
- that the system provide a convenient, safe, and predictable transportation option for Saskatoon citizens and visitors,
- that the system ensure that there are services for transportation options 24/7—not just at times when there is highest demand, and
- that as much as possible, the rules are fair between ride-sharing and taxis so that one system does not benefit over another. I know that in order for ride sharing to occur, and if we want to attempt to have a level playing field, there will have to be changes to the current taxi industry.
These discussions have been moving forward with the Province, but nothing is set in stone yet. I’ll be posting more information when it becomes available.