Uber gauging interest of local drivers

First Edmonton, next Red Deer?

First Edmonton, next Red Deer?

The ride-hailing company Uber hosted an information session to gauge interest at the Baymont Inn and Suites on Thursday evening.

The event was closed to the media but between 30 and 40 people attended with four Uber representatives.

It is part of the company’s ongoing work to assess driver interest while it expands to cities across Canada, said Jean-Christophe De Le Rue, Senior Communications Associate, Canada.

“While we don’t have specific launch plans for Red Deer, I can tell you that Uber aims to expand to communities across Canada and we’re always looking at ensuring that safe, affordable and reliable rides are available everywhere in the country,” said De Le Rue in a news release.

Edmonton became the first Canadian city this week to legalize the drivers on the road, starting on March 1.

Associate Cab owner Daryl Frenette said Edmonton will regret that decision.

He said the company will extract as much as 30 per cent out of the local economy and send it to California.

“Why would any council want that to happen,” said Frenette. “Why would you do that? Where is the gain? You just put a bunch of people who are paying mortgages, raising their children, taxpayers out of business? I don’t fathom that concept.”

Mayor Tara Veer was not available for comment on Thursday. To date there has been no discussion at council about the possibility of Uber moving into Red Deer.

^

Frenette said his company has a strong working relationship with the city.

“There are lots of changes happening in Alberta right now,” said Frenette. “This may be one of them. We certainly are not opening up our doors and saying come on in because there is only a small amount of business as there is.”

Frenette said his 66 drivers are trained and take pride in their work and follow all the regulations, something he says is not true of the Uber drivers. He said the company does not have proper insurance, inspections and registrations. He gave a laundry list of issues related to the service including surge pricing.

“Our rates are not out of this world. They are sustainable living wage for our drivers. That’s what our rates are aimed at.”

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Red Deer College Queens host third annual Pink in the Rink game

The RDC Queens picked up an extra special victory on home ice… Continue reading

PHOTOS: The Mustard Seed CEO speaks at Seeds of Hope Gala in Red Deer

The first-ever Seeds of Hope Gala was held at the Red Deer… Continue reading

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

‘Stupid’ law preventing Canada’s re-engagement with Iran: retired envoy

OTTAWA — The real reason the Liberal government hasn’t been able to… Continue reading

Voters head to polls for BC municipal elections today

VANCOUVER — Voters in British Columbia will head to the polls today… Continue reading

All sharks tagged in N.S. expedition can now be tracked on Ocearch website

HALIFAX — All six of the sharks tagged in Nova Scotian waters… Continue reading

Memorial service for former PQ minister Lise Payette today in Montreal

MONTREAL — Mourners will gather to remember former Parti Quebecois cabinet minister… Continue reading

Immunotherapy scores a first win against some breast cancers

For the first time, one of the new immunotherapy drugs has shown… Continue reading

‘Mom I’m in trouble:’ Canadian, Brit face 10 years in jail for alleged graffiti

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — The mother of a Canadian who was arrested… Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl near Penhold

This coyote was out on the prowl in a field just west… Continue reading

Most Read