Lloydminster council gave first reading to its revised Taxi and Vehicle for Hire Bylaw. Revisions presented on March 28 have been a long time coming with the previous taxi bylaw approved in 1976.
Coun. Larry Sauer said the overdue bylaw revisions are timely given the daily news on ride sharing taxi services like Uber.
“Another reason for the complete revision was administration went to all of the stakeholders including the owners or the taxis and limousines,” he said.
The revisions also resulted from talks with drivers, seniors and comments from the city’s Your Voice public forums.
“We also looked at best practices and what’s happening in other communities that can be in a totally new bylaw” said Sauer.
“With first reading now, it becomes a public document.”
The revised bylaw covers legislative requirements for taxis and ride share companies in nine areas including taxi permits, vehicle inspections and the regulation of vehicles for hire.
Asked if the legal requirements would scare off ride sharing in Lloydminster, Sauer said, “I don’t think that was made out to be – not to scare them, but to be aware of what’s expected as would any other service provider.”
He said when potential new companies come to town they will have a much better updated document that fits or doesn’t fit their needs.
“I think it will be excellent that way,” he said.
The bylaw gives companies one year to install flashing roof lights and until 2020 to meet GPS requirements.
Sauer said the revisions should also answer public concerns about safety.
“Seniors want to know if the taxis are safe and clean,” he said.
The bylaw is now open to more public comment before it comes back to council for a second and final reading.
It could be passed at the next meeting on April 11 if there are no further issues to address.
In other news, council awarded Weaver Park Campground caretaker services to JB Project Services of Lloydminster for $75,000 for the 2016 season in a request for proposals process.
Five year capital plan
Council approved a five year capital plan with over $373.7 million of projects as a requirement of the Saskatchewan federal Gas Tax Fund Agreement.
The plan ensures the city continues to get its semi-annual allocations from the gas tax agreement.