News / Calgary

Calgary council delays vote on limo regulations until November

Uber expresses concerns in letter to councillors

Cabbies and limo drivers waited at city hall all afternoon and into the evening to hear councils decision on relaxing limo regulations. They will have to wait even longer after the council passed a referral motion until November.

Brodie Thomas / Metro

Cabbies and limo drivers waited at city hall all afternoon and into the evening to hear councils decision on relaxing limo regulations. They will have to wait even longer after the council passed a referral motion until November.

If Uber is coming to Calgary, it will be at least next month before we find out.

A group of cab and limo drivers were waiting around city hall for most of Monday to hear Council’s decision on changes to limousine rates and regulations.

Although administration has put forth recommendations on relaxing base rates and time to book for limos, ultimately council passed a referral motion, putting the vote off until mid-November.

Cam Naghshineh, general manager with Allied Limousine, said it was unfortunate to see a further delay.

“After all the work and research and due diligence the administration went through the past few months, it’s sad to see it was completely dismissed to even dig at it more and more,” he said.

Coun. Shane Keating, however, said he thinks the changes are coming. The delay was more about making sure all the finer points of the bylaw are corrected.

The issue of the change in the limo regulations, it’s eventually going to take place. I can’t see that not happening,” said Keating. “It came down to what you might say, semantics – technically if you spell a word wrong… you have to come forward with changing the bylaw to get the word correct.”

In a letter sent to councilors and shared with Metro, Uber suggested the plan to merely lower limo rates rather than deregulating the entire industry was a bad attempt at regulating the industry.

“Council does not determine the prices that builders charge to when selling a new home. Council does not determine the prices that restaurants charge for meals. It makes no sense for Council to regulate limousine service rates,” read the letter.

Once the motion was passed, Uber wasn't happy with the developments, according to Canadian spokesperson Xavier Van Chau.

“While we remain committed to working collaboratively, the city took over 14 months to attempt to make minor amendments to the limousine bylaw. Given this lengthy process, today’s sudden action to rapidly develop ridesharing regulations concerns us as it seems motivated by a desire to prevent a launch of new and affordable transportation alternatives in Calgary.”

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