Edmonton Becomes First Canadian City to Legalize Uber

By: Dominic Licorish on January 28, 2016

Yesterday the Edmonton city council passed a new bylaw that finally opens the door for UberX drivers to take advantage of the convenient app without risking getting a ticket.

Starting March 1, drivers will be allowed to legally operate in the city, albeit with regulation. According to the CBC, the newly defined rules set a minimum price of $3.25 per ride for Uber or any other private transportation company that sets up shop in the city. Aside from that minimum price, “fares for private transportation providers like Uber and rides with taxi companies arranged through an app” will be completely deregulated for now.

That means that as long as cars are ordered through an app, traditional taxi companies are allowed to match Uber’s competitive pricing. However, rides hailed on the street or from the phone will be priced at the same rates traditionally regulated by the city.

Another part of the bylaw will require Uber to pay for a $70,000 a year operating license. It will also require the company and its drivers to have provincially approved insurance. While Aviva announced coverage for Ontario Uber drivers just this month, there’s no word yet on support in Alberta.

The new bylaw no doubt marks the beginning of a transformation for the taxi industry and at least in Edmonton the end of a bitter feud between taxi drivers and the ridesharing company. Even yesterday, taxi drivers protested heavily as they always have as the council came to its decision.

It won’t be long until more cities follow in Edmonton’s footsteps. The overall behaviour of taxi drivers during Uber protests have done them no favours in the minds of the people. More and more people are signing up to be drivers, and more and more people are using the app.