Red Deer area to look at vehicles for hire

Uber, shuttles, driver take-home services

Red Deer wants to work with local municipalities to update or develop bylaws that regulate vehicles for hire like taxis, limousines, Uber and other transportation networks.

On Monday city council voted unanimously to direct administration to initiate a regional consultation process to explore the benefits of regional collaboration for vehicles for hire.

The city is looking at collaborating with Sylvan Lake, Blackfalds, Lacombe, Penhold, Innisfail and Red Deer and Lacombe counties.

Each municipality has its own bylaws regulating vehicles for hire or in some cases have no bylaws if there’s no need.

Currently Red Deer only regulates taxis, limousines and sedans.

“There’s a differential in regulations among certain municipalities along our portion of the corridor and this is an opportunity to move forward into the next step. Some may choose to opt in. Some may choose not to and that’s fine,” Mayor Tara Veer said.

City administration said there have been concerns about businesses operating without the same regulations in place for others. Technical advances and the recession also have companies and individuals becoming more innovative and efficient in the way they conduct business.

Regional collaboration will provide better customer service, consistent regulations and increased value to companies and customers.

Right now a taxi in a neighbouring municipality can deliver customers to Red Deer but cannot pick up customers in Red Deer.

The first phase of the review is consultation and research. A survey is being developed to understand how people are using vehicles for hire in the region. Industry will be part of the consultation and other municipalities will be invited to participate.

Once the data is compiled it will be analyzed to determine the next steps and regional municipalities will once again be asked if they wish to take part.

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