Winnipeg city hall passes ride-sharing regulations

Winnipeg city hall passes ride-sharing regulations - image
Gene J. Puskar / The Canadian Press

After a nearly eight hour debate at city hall, Winnipeg city councillors have passed new ride sharing regulations.

Ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft will be able to compete with taxis in Winnipeg as soon as March 1.

READ MORE: Reality check on claims around Uber’s costs to Winnipeggers on dollars and safety

Council spent the day in chambers debating the highly contested vehicle-for-hire regulations.

The city will not regulate the number of Uber and Lyft drivers on its streets.

Potential passengers will also not be allowed to flag down drivers on city streets or accept cash payments, like taxis are allowed to do. Ride-share drivers will also be forced to undergo the same criminal background checks and vehicle-safety certifications as taxi drivers.

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Taxi drivers wanted Uber and Lyft cars to be required to have safety shields. That idea was shot down.

Cab drivers will also be allowed to use the diamond lanes as a one-year pilot project.

It will cost the city $1.3 million to regulate all vehicles for hire, but the city expects to recover the money from taxi licences and fees from both cabs and Uber/Lyft.

City council voted 10 to 6 to pass the regulations.

Councillors Janice Lukes, Russ Wyatt, Shawn Dobson, Ross Eadie, Jason Schreyer and Devi Sharma all voted against the regulations.

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