Calgary taxi companies suggest Uber is getting a back room deal with the city.
The ride-sharing company has been holding out on entering the Calgary market, saying it can’t function under the city’s regulations.
A hastily called committee meeting was held yesterday to consider new rules that would reduce the fees ride sharing companies have to pay.
Marc Halat, Manager of Compliance Services with the city says the taxi industry wasn’t engaged because that system is working.
“We exceed 80 per cent satisfaction,we’re there. What more can I do on the taxi-limousine side to make it better..not much. Newcomers although, can provide an added service element and choice for Calgarians who’ve asked for it.”
Kurt Enders, owner of Checker Cabs is frustrated by the considerations given to Uber, and Thursday’s hastily called meeting, wondering if the motivation is to flood the streets with their drivers in time for Christmas.
“We weren’t consulted as a stakeholder in the industry, as to how we can improve it and make it better. (I feel its one company) that’s pushing their own agenda and the rest of the industry has been forgotten about. ”
But Halat disputes that claim.
“I won’t deny that Uber does provide a sense of pressure. But we’ve known they were coming and we’ve been trying to develop a framework that will accomodate everybody and they’re not getting any more of a considered effort on my part than anybody else.”
The owner of association cabs wants to go to the city’s ethics commissioner, questioning whether members of council have been siding with ride sharing companies.
The Liberal Transport Advisory Committee has asked for more time to consider its options and will meet again November 18th.