It’s been a long wait for Uber but don’t cry a river for the ride sharing company. For the past year it’s enjoyed a great free marketing campaign while it wrestles with the city over its bylaws. On Monday council agreed on a plan that everyone, except for councillors Ray Jones, Andre Chabot, Shane Keating and Jim Stevenson, can live with. All along Uber has been opposed to the $220/driver fee arguing it’s a barrier for many of its drivers who get behind the wheel on a part time basis. The new rules are much more favorable to Uber. The driver fee will drop to $15 along with a 2o cent/ride fee. Ride sharing companies will pay an annual fee of $5,000 to $20,000 depending on the number of drivers.
The biggest opposition has come from Calgary’s Taxi industry. Council has assuaged the industry’s concerns by releasing another 222 taxi licences. Unfortunately all those licenses aren’t benefiting the average cabbie in our city, they’re benefiting the brokers who still hold the ultimate control in our city’s taxi sector.
Uber will launch in the next few weeks just in time for the Christmas party season, unfortunately I don’t there’s much to celebrate for Calgary cab drivers.