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“We just want it to be fair and safe” – taxis, municipalities prepare for ride sharing in Saskatchewan

Click to play video: '“We just want it to be fair and safe” – taxis, municipalities prepare for ride sharing in Saskatchewan' “We just want it to be fair and safe” – taxis, municipalities prepare for ride sharing in Saskatchewan
Impending provincial legislation that would legalize ride sharing is expected to be passed later this week, but the STCA aren't worried about new competition – May 28, 2018

“We need to adapt, we can’t sit back or else we’re going to get overtaken,” Shonda Boire, the spokesperson for the Saskatchewan Taxi Cab Association (STCA) knows all too well how quickly her industry will need to change to keep its hold on the market in the near future.

“We always knew that there would be competition, we’ve never said no to any competition, we just want it to be fair and safe,” she continued.

Impending provincial legislation that would legalize ride-sharing is expected to be passed later this week, but the STCA isn’t worried about new competition.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan expected to pass ride-sharing legislation next week

“We’ve done lots of work in the background. This last year has just been about finding ways we can compete,” Boire asserted.

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A merger between Comfort Cabs and United Cabs in Saskatoon is in the works to optimize efficiency and customer service.

In the Queen City, there’s been increased pressure on companies in the provincial capital to modernize and develop apps for users.

Another option they’re looking at is adding more cabs during peak hours.

“We haven’t been given the greenlight, go-ahead yet, but we are very positive that we will have that option to do that because again, we’ve never said no to more cars, that’s something we do need, so we’re hoping we’re given that chance,” Boire commented.

READ MORE: Candidates look at Uber’s future in Saskatoon, but regulation remains an issue

It’s a decision that would fall on municipalities and one Regina is willing to consider.

“It’s fair to say that we want to have a level playing field between a taxi and ride-share,” Regina Mayor Michael Fougere added.

Fougere expects a report sometime in the next month and would look at pricing and safety.

Even in its early stages, Fougere is excited about a new market in the city.

“When you have competition, you have a better service, so if we have other companies that are Canadian based that want to come here… all the better,” he continued.

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One of those companies is Thunder Bay, ON, start-up URide. It was the first to break into Northern Ontario and is carefully watching the developments in Saskatchewan with hopes of repeating their success in new markets.

“Whenever competition comes into a market like Thunder Bay or like Regina it forces everyone to work harder for the actual people of the city, it benefits consumers,” URide founder Cody Ruberto said.

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