Uber is returning to Calgary, announcing on Wednesday that its popular ridesharing service will be up and running as of Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016.
Uber Alberta general manager Ramit Kar made the announcement in front of city hall at around 11 a.m.
“For the hundreds of thousands of riders that are looking for a safe transportation alternative to get home coming into the holiday season, we’ll be able to start serving them as of December sixth.”
“This is a great day for Calgary.”
Uber said they have several hundred drivers ready to go for their December return.
Uber’s return was made possible on Monday, after city councillors voted to approve proposed amendments to the Livery Transport Bylaw. The amendments will change the application process for drivers of so-called Transportation Network Companies – and offer an alternate licence-fee system.
Calgary’s complicated history with Uber
The City of Calgary and Uber have a complicated history:
Uber originally launched in Calgary (illegally) in October 2015. The next month, the City of Calgary filed an injunction against the company. Then, in December, Uber and the city agreed to work together on a regulatory framework.
In February, the City of Calgary approved a new set of ride-sharing regulations which allowed companies like Uber to operate legally. However, Uber declined to set up shop, saying it wouldn’t be able to operate under the bylaw.
At the time, Kar said the changes were “unacceptable” and complained the city was “trying to fit ride-sharing into a taxi model.”
Under that fee structure, companies were charged $1,753 per year plus an additional $220 per driver.
The changes approved on Monday will see companies pay a fee based on their number of drivers, plus an additional $15 per driver.
The bylaw amendments are considered a pilot and will be reviewed in one year with a report sent back to council in the first quarter of 2018.
Only one order of business still remains: the injunction filed against Uber by the City of Calgary must be lifted. In addition, Uber and the City of Calgary must come to an agreement on who will pay $20,000 in costs associated with the city’s investigation into Uber when it was operating illegally.
With files from David Boushy