‘I don’t see that demand’: Drivers weigh in on Regina rideshare

Regina passed its ridesharing bylaw over a month ago, but it still hasn't received any applications.

While ridesharing companies in Saskatoon are up and running, many people in Regina are still left wondering when they’ll be able to order an Uber or a Lyft.

It’s been a month and half since Regina passed its ridesharing bylaw on February 25, and the city says it hasn’t received any applications from companies.

Uber and Rel8 are both operating in Saskatoon, after the Bridge City passed its bylaw in December.

READ MORE: Uber launches ridesharing service at Saskatoon city hall

READ MORE: New rideshare company set to launch in Saskatoon

Some Regina delivery drivers say there’s not a lot of interest for rideshare work in the Queen City.

Birju Patel, Deliverr founder and CEO, says the city’s small market combined with competition from cab companies is pushing drivers towards delivery services, rather than ridesharing.

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“When it comes to frequency plus tips in the service-based industry, if you sum it up with the frequency, I think drivers will get more pay on delivery companies as compared to ridesharing,” Patel said.

Patel says the biggest need for transportation comes from the airport and pubs on the weekends, but there is a demand for food delivery all week long.

READ MORE: Council approves ride-sharing bylaw allowing Uber, Lyft to operate in Regina

“People will order more food than they would [order] ridesharing [services],” Patel said.

Under city regulations, rideshare drivers need a class five license and a good driving record, with no more than 12 demerit points lost in the last two years. Twelve demerit points can be racked up with two at-fault collisions or six speeding tickets, among other infractions.

Vehicles must also go through an annual SGI-certified safety inspection, which can cost about $230.00 and take two hours to do. Delivery drivers, like Dave Patel, say that’s enough money to make him second guess a ridesharing application.

“We are just worried,” Dave said. “Can we get the return on it? Can we earn that money? Because we are not sure about that.”

Dave says he has several friends who’ve gone through the online application form for Uber, but they’ve stopped after realizing they need a vehicle inspection. Dave says there’s not enough incentives to take a risk.

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READ MORE: Rideshare rules approved by Regina city council

“If I do my vehicle inspection and [I know] there will be customers, then I could get the return for my investments,” Dave said. “Then I would [apply].”

Global Regina reached out to Uber and Lyft to find out where the companies are at in their hiring stages.

In an email statement, Uber public policy manager Jean Christophe de Le Rue said the following:

“We have opened up the process for interested drivers to partner with us. No launch date is scheduled at this time, but we are excited about the opportunity of coming to Regina.”

Lyft sent a similar response.

“While we can’t share specific launch details at the moment, we look forward to bringing Lyft to Saskatchewan in the future,” said communications manager Fatima Reyes.

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