NEWS
02/22/2016 18:30 EST | Updated 02/22/2017 00:12 EST

Uber gets bylaw from Calgary city council, but says it won't work

Calgary city council has passed a bylaw that would allow for the operation of ride-sharing companies, but officials with Uber say the rules are too strict.

The city wants ride-sharing drivers to have a Class 4 driver's licence; an annual $220 operating licence from the city; regular inspections; proof of eligibility to work in Canada and a police background check; and commercial insurance.

The city says the rules could be in place by April 4 but Ramit Kar, the general manager of Uber Alberta, says they are too strict.

He says the fees are too high and the rules too difficult to adhere to.

Uber wants rules similar to those passed in Edmonton recently, whereby Uber pays the city $50,000 per year plus six cents per trip.

He says the bylaw will ensure that ride-sharing "will not come back to Calgary."

"We're going to continue to advocate to make sure that Calgarians' voices are heard in terms of the return of ride-sharing," he says.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi told reporters that reaction "is very much their (Uber's) script."

He said the company continues to complain about the fee even though the city has made concessions.

"We're not going for a fee that requires taxpayer subsidy," he said.

Earlier this year, Edmonton became the first jurisdiction to pass regulations for the new industry.

California-based Uber is an app-based business that operates in 40 Canadian communities as well as around the world. It allows people to request rides over their phones and sets them up with drivers who use their personal vehicles. Getting an Uber ride is typically cheaper than taking a taxi.

Under the Edmonton bylaw, which takes effect March 1, drivers must carry provincially approved insurance, have an annual vehicle inspection and agree to a criminal record check.

(CFFR, CTV Calgary)