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Regina wants to conduct public consultations before introducing ride sharing
Published Friday, December 1, 2017 5:06PM CST
Last Updated Saturday, December 2, 2017 11:29AM CST
Regina wants to conduct public consultations before introducing ride sharing.
The mayor of Regina believes ridesharing will be allowed in the Queen City, but public consultations will need to be done first.
"We'll talk to the taxi industry and we'll talk to residents and see what they want to see so I won't say anything until we actually have a report back,” said Michael Fougere, Mayor of Regina.
This week, the provincial government paved the way for the service through proposed legislation outlining licensing and insurance requirements. However, the province is letting each city decide whether it will permit companies like Uber and Lyft to operate within its jurisdiction.
"We've been consulting with the municipalities as to what they think is best and what would suit them and we want them to make their decisions and the final decisions as to what they want to happen in their municipality,” said Joe Hargrave, Minister in Charge, SGI.
Regina’s mayor, Michael Fougere, is confident that ridesharing will pass the test, but feels the public and taxi industry deserve a say in what the local rules will be. Possibilities include restrictions on the number of ridesharing vehicles on the road and operating hours.
"If you were to put something like a cap on for the amount of drivers, that's actually painful because someone might only be working two hours a week or three hours a week and so if you're only allowed 10 drivers, that actually hampers the service quite a bit,” said Ramit Kar, Uber.
"I know that the taxi drivers themselves have indicated a want of creating a made in Saskatchewan solution and I think that's a voice we need to hear as well,” said Carla Beck, Regina-Lakeview MLA, NDP.
Regina will wait until the provincial legislation passes before beginning local consultations. That likely won’t happen before next spring. Uber plans to serve Regina and Saskatoon first, but has warned that it could pull out if government restrictions prove unreasonable.
With files from Wayne Mantyka