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Cheaper cabs in Calgary? Company lowers fares as Uber-inspired regulations take effect

Calgary cabs
FILE: Associated cabs. Global News

Calgary cab companies are taking a page out of Uber’s book and gearing fares towards consumers, looking to lower prices amid new ride-sharing regulations that came into effect Monday. Amendments to the Livery Transport Bylaw mean you will soon be paying less—at least with one local company.

“Under these amendments taxi and limousine services will be able to set their own rates and it also eliminates the minimum charges imposed on the industry,” Associated Cab Alta Ltd. and Allied Limousine said in a statement.

“Due to these amendments we are now able to offer Calgarians lower fares because of lower gasoline prices and the economic downturn in our province.”

Associated Cabs said it will lower taxi meters and Sedan-Limousine Airport flat rates by 12 per cent starting April 11, a change that will take one week to complete in each taxi.

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

The owner of Checker Cabs, Kurt Enders, said his company is evaluating the new rules.

“We will make a decision this week whether or not to adjust our rates,” he told Global News.

Mayfair Taxi owner Len Bellingham echoed the sentiment, saying, “we are studying the new rates allowed in the city bylaw, checking our options and will make a decision soon.”

For its part, Uber tweeted Monday it was sad to see regulations launched that will “keep ridesharing out of reach.”

The amended bylaw would force Uber drivers to undergo police background checks, be properly insured (a provincial regulatory issue), hold proper Class 4 licences and have their vehicles undergo safety checks. The city dropped required safety inspections to once a year, rather than an initial ask of twice a year. Following the approval, Uber Alberta director Ramit Kar told reporters it was “unacceptable.”

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

Watch below: Global’s ongoing coverage of Uber’s attempts to operate in Calgary

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With files from Global’s Tony Tighe