Guelph says safety, not pricing, focus of ridesharing regulations
Published Tuesday, April 3, 2018 6:07PM EDT
Taxi drivers in Guelph say they want to be competing with services like Uber on a level playing field. Officials at City Hall say they want that, too.
But that doesn’t mean taxi drivers’ latest suggestion to the city will be approved.
The city took over responsibility for taxis and ridesharers from the Guelph Police Service board last year.
Since then, a city working group has been reviewing the bylaw and preparing to update it.
Taxi drivers had petitioned for the update to force ridesharers to pay a standard fee per kilometre – eliminating the use of Uber’s ‘surge pricing’ and similar features.
“All they wanted was a fair environment. They just wanted a level playing field,” says David Wiedrick, the city’s bylaw manager.
While the taxi drivers and the city seem to be speaking the same language, the standard fee won’t be part of the updated bylaw.
Wiedrick says the city’s focus is on ensuring that all taxis and ridesharing services represent safe transportation options – not on consumer protection.
Instead, Guelph will look to communities like Hamilton and Waterloo Region in setting rules for both taxis and rideshare services.
“It seems to be working,” Wiedrick says.