ALBERTA

Calgary Uber Drivers Head To Edmonton For Work

02/19/2016 03:01 EST | Updated 02/20/2016 09:59 EST
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Taxi driver using GPS to follow the route. Travelling with GPS. Taxi (fictive) application on smart phone in action.

Edmonton's Uber legalization has some of the company's drivers fleeing Calgary for work in the provincial capital.

Abd Al-Minshdawi was a heavy-duty oil mechanic in Iraq, before he and his family moved to Canada, according to CBC News.

Now that oil work has dried up, Al-Minshdawi makes the three-hour trek to Edmonton from Calgary every weekend to drive for the ride-sharing company.

"Only this way can I help me and my family. Sometime it's $100 a week sometimes it's $120, but it's better than nothing," Minshdawi told CBC.

And he's not the only one.

"The economic downturn is pushing a lot of Albertans to seek out new income opportunities," Jean-Christophe de la Rue, Uber Canada's senior communications associate, told The Huffington Post Alberta.

"That has led some Calgarians to partner with Uber and drive in Edmonton while they wait on action from Calgary City Council."

Edmonton 1st Canadian city to legalize Uber

Edmonton's city council voted last month to pass the city's vehicle-for-hire bylaw, becoming the first Canadian city to officially legalize Uber.

In Calgary, driving for Uber is against the law, thanks to a temporary injunction passed by city council last year. Those caught face up to $1,500 in fines.

Councillors are set to meet on Monday, when they will debate a bylaw that would regulate ride-sharing companies in the city.

Uber officials have repeatedly expressed concerns that the city's proposed regulations will prove too costly for drivers.

"Despite our efforts to work collaboratively, city staff have drafted unworkable rules that would prevent us from coming back to Calgary," read a statement issued by Ramit Kar, Uber's general manager for the city , earlier this month.

However, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the company is simply resorting to scare tactics.

"They've made that threat a number of times in a number of jurisdictions. As far as I know they've never actually followed through on that threat anywhere," Nenshi told Metro News.

It remains to be seen whether Uber will resume operations in Calgary, but, in the meantime, it looks like customers in Edmonton won't have to wait long for a ride.

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