Edmonton considers changing rules for Uber and other ridesharing companies

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The City of Edmonton is looking to make some changes to the regulations that allow ride-share companies like Uber to operate.

Local rules came into effect last March, while provincial regulations followed in July. The city now wants the two to better align with each other.

Edmonton has five enforcement officers making sure ride-share companies follow the rules, like drivers having proper documentation and not picking up hails.

READ MORE: Edmonton councillors concerned ride-sharing companies potentially breaking rules

Last year, there were about 1,000 inspections done and about 300 infraction tickets were issued, but many of them were tossed out.

The hope is the changes will prevent infraction tickets from being tossed if the rules are broken.

“I think the proposed changes add clarity to the bylaw, defining certain aspects of it and do provide that clarity that will assist in tickets being issued that probably stand a higher test that would be more prosecutable,” John Simmons, Community Standards, Peace Officer Section, said.

READ MORE: Alberta government unveils insurance policies aimed specifically at ride-sharing companies

One of the proposed changes is increasing fines. For example, the fine for a ride-sharing driver accepting a hail is going from $250 to $1,000.

The industry pays for that enforcement through per trip fees. It’s currently six cents but it’s proposed to jump dramatically to 30 cents per trip.

The estimated cost to enforce the ride share industry is $1.5 million.

The issue will be discussed next week at city council.

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