November 28, 2016 2:45 pm
Updated: November 30, 2016 12:40 pm

New Uber-friendly fee structure approved by Calgary councillors

WATCH ABOVE: Uber drivers will soon be rolling onto Calgary streets just as the holiday season rush begins. City council approved bylaw changes that will now 'allow' for ride sharing companies here. Global’s Gary Bobrovitz reports.

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A long-awaited vote by city councillors has paved the way for ride-sharing service Uber to return to Calgary in time for the busy holiday season.

On Monday, members of Calgary’s city council voted 11-4 to approve amendments to the Livery Transport Bylaw which will change the application process for drivers of so-called Transportation Network Companies – and offer an alternate licence-fee system.

The City of Calgary and Uber have a complicated history:

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Uber originally launched in Calgary (illegally) in October 2015. The next month, the City of Calgary filed an injunction against the company. Then, in December, Uber and the city agreed to work together on a regulatory framework.

In February, the City of Calgary approved a new set of ride-sharing regulations which allows companies like Uber to operate legally. However, Uber declined to set up shop, saying it wouldn’t be able to operate under the bylaw.

READ MORE: ‘Uber can’t operate in Calgary’ under approved bylaw, says spokesperson 

At the time, Uber Alberta director Ramit Kar said the changes were “unacceptable” and complained the city was “trying to fit ride-sharing into a taxi model.”

Under that fee structure, companies were charged $1,753 per year plus an additional $220 per driver.

The changes approved on Monday will see companies pay a fee based on their number of drivers, plus an additional $15 per driver.

READ MORE: Calgary Mayor Nenshi apologizes for calling rideshare company Uber ‘dicks’

The bylaw amendments are considered a pilot and will be reviewed in one year with a report sent back to council in the first quarter of 2018.

Uber ‘pleased’ with Calgary changes

In a statement sent to Global News via email, Uber said it was “pleased” with the vote.

“As we’ve said, these changes will allow us to offer service to riders and drivers by early December  – and we’ll be sharing our exact launch date with Calgarians soon!”

READ MORE: Brett Wilson offers $100K to Calgary Public Library if city approves Uber

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