Lloyd's taxi bylaw being tweaked

By Geoff Lee

March 8, 2016 9:49 AM

The city of Lloydminster is working on a new Taxi and Vehicle for HIre bylaw that will address the possibility of an Uber-style ride for hire service starting up in the city.

Alberta Transportation’s plan for stricter regulations for insurance, licensing and background checks for Uber-style ride-for-hire services will help Lloydminster tweak its Taxi and Vehicle for Hire Bylaw.
Lloydminster’s taxi bylaw from 1976 is being updated to reflect changes in technology and concerns for passenger and driver safety in the taxi and ride-for-hire service models.
“That’s what it’s trying to achieve and provide safe and secure transportation to the residents,” said Doug Rodwell, general manager of public safety for the city of Lloydminster.
“I think the new bylaw provides the opportunity for a leveller playing field and better enforcement.”
Rodwell gives a thumbs up to Alberta’s plan to create an interim insurance product by July 1 to cover Uber drivers and their fares.
All ride-for-hire drivers in the province will continue to require a Class 4 licence or better and all ride-for-hire drivers must undergo a police background check.
“What I am am pulling from the government is that they are dealing with public safety as well,” said Rodwell.
Lloydminster’s new bylaw will also have the regulatory teeth to deal with a possible Uber-style ride-for-hire service in our city to compete with the six existing commercial taxi companies.
“Once they came to town and started offering that service, we’d have to look at how that impacts our residents and if we need to regulate more, or if the regulations that are put in place are fine,” said Rodwell.
“Yes, the bylaw would be set to deal with it at a high level to start with.”
Edmonton’s new bylaw that came into effect last Tuesday restricts private transportation providers to accepting fares pre-arranged through a mobile App or a dispatcher.
Rodwell said he doesn’t think any app-based ride-for-hire services would come to Lloydminster in the near future given their urban-based business models.
“The cost associated with making money is set to their model,” he said.
He said he thinks it will be interesting to see how the new provincial guidelines for insurance, licensing and background checks announced on Feb. 29 will affect their model.
Prior to Alberta Transportation’s plan to ensure a level regulatory playing field in areas of provincial jurisdiction, vehicle-for-hire startups only needed a car and a Class 5 licence business.
“Now it puts some overhead to it,“said Rodwell.
Lloydminster’s bylaw will include some proposed regulatory amendments such as permits, inspections, licences and regulation of taxis and vehicles for hire, and fares and tariffs.
“We worked with the owners and the drivers as well as the public to fashion something that I think will fit the industry as well as the public need,” said Rodwell.
“I think it’s been more of a collaborative effort.”
There will also be changes to duties of drivers and taxi brokers, taxi identification and records keeping.
The proposed amendments will also reflect upcoming digital requirements of the industry and the different dispatch models used today.
“Once we have our legal team look at it,then we’ll be prepared to take it to council,” said Rodwell
“I am hoping sooner rather than later.”
Rodwell was on hand during the city’s Your Voice forum in late February to aswer questions and encourage feedback from the public on the proposed bylaw.
He said a few people thought the city still had some work to do to meet customer needs.
“It is a competitive industry,” said Rodwell.
“The perception is that it could be better and I think we all agree with that, even the industry does,” he said.

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