NEEPAWA, Man. — By the end of this year, the road may be paved for ride-sharing services, such as Uber, to operate legally within the province. On March 20, the provincial government introduced Bill 30, which will deregulate the industry and open the door for new players. In essence, the bill will dissolve the Manitoba Taxicab Board and move responsibility for regulation of vehicles for hire to municipal governments.
WINNIPEG — A new report commissioned by the Manitoba Taxicab Board is recommending Uber be allowed to operate in Winnipeg.
An independent review of the taxi industry was launched in December 2015 by MNP under the direction of the former NDP government to consult the public and stakeholders on the future of the industry.
“The introduction of transportation network companies (TNCs), often called ‘ride-sharing’, has been a significant disruptor in this industry on a global basis. Uber is the most well-known of these companies,” the report states.
Winnipeg’s taxicab services are under a comprehensive six-month review as launched by the Taxicab Board and the province.
Consulting firm MNP has been awarded the contract to review and provide recommendations for the future regulation and improvement of taxicab services in Winnipeg.
The review will focus on six key areas:
• Supply and demand for each class of taxi services;
• Fare structure and charges;
• Customer service, satisfaction and consumer protection;
• Safety, security and accessibility;
• New technologies and services; and
• Licensing requirements, standards, training and procedures.
A few thoughts about Uber, the ride-sharing service that has traditional taxi operators all in a flap. It’s a given that taxis are always easy to find, except when you really need them, like when it’s raining, or in the middle of the night after the buses have stopped running.
If you have a smartphone and are comfortable with social media, Uber is supposed to make it fast and easy to catch a ride, but there have been more than a few problems, and they’re fighting hard for acceptance.
This week we heard that the man responsible for Uber’s expansion into Africa and Asia , a guy named Niall Wass, will be leaving the ship in a couple of months. When I first heard about Uber, I pictured something wonderfully spontaneous and magical, along the lines of the so-called gypsy cabs that have been dodging authorities in the Big Apple for quite a while.
WINNIPEG — If Liberal leader Rana Bokhari were to lead the next provincial government, ride-sharing service Uber would be welcomed in Manitoba.
Bokhari said Thursday her government would work with the taxi industry and drivers to make the transition fair and equitable.
“We want what’s best for Manitobans and they are telling us they want to be able to use their smart phones to access transportation,” Bokhari said.
“We won’t stand in the way of applications that allow that, but will work with the taxi companies to ensure they are fairly compensated. Government over-regulation of this industry has helped lead to competitive weakness, and for that reason we are prepared to negotiate a deal that works for current licence holders.
WINNIPEG — Chris Schafer would have much preferred a ride with an Uber driver than take a taxi to get around Winnipeg today, but he didn’t have much choice.
And that is what the manager of public policy for Uber Canada hopes will change as the burgeoning company attempts to reach out to Winnipeggers and policy makers by demystifying what the ride-sharing company is all about and eventually offer the service here.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce hosted a live on-stream presentation given by Schafer whose goal was to describe the service and convince decision makers to let Uber into this market.