City of Saskatoon asking public for advice on ride-hailing companies

City of Saskatoon asking public for advice on ride-hailing companies”

In last month's throne speech, the provincial government outlined its plans to make it easier for the companies to set up in Saskatchewan, especially when it comes to insurance and licensing.

The City of Saskatoon is revving up ahead of the province's promise to pass legislation giving the green light to ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. It will be up to municipalities to draft local bylaws to govern the companies.

The mayor said city officials have met with the taxi industry - including drivers, plate owners, brokers - and other stakeholder groups with interest and expertise in transportation services in Saskatoon.

People are being asked to provide feedback through a survey - available online or at city hall - until November 17. Taxi drivers, who are generally required to undergo fingerprint checks, lobbied heavily for their competition to be held to the same standard, while Uber and Lyft fiercely resisted, arguing that it would be onerous and discriminatory against minorities.

Just over half, 53 per cent, said they think ride-sharing would help reduce impaired driving, while 27 per cent said they think it will have no effect and six per cent think impaired driving would increase.

Rosa Escareno, commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, said the idea is to "level the playing field" for both ride-sharing and taxi drivers.

The survey will be available until Friday, November 17.

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