The dispute comes after Riide refused to join the airport’s curbside licensing program.
The injunction will ban the company from airport pick-ups and drop-offs, having a major impact on business. Riide said it will be the customers that will suffer.
“I know we are going to have some problems, because people get into our cabs, and they don’t always tell us where they are going to go before they get in,” said Scott Suppes, Riide president and CEO.
“I know that is going to be an issue when we tell them, ‘Oh sorry, we can’t take you to the airport.’”
Suppes said the company plans to fight the injunction and is disappointed Saskatoon’s airport is unwilling to negotiate, despite the 50-year business relationship with his company.
“We had a bit of argument of whether the airport’s customers are our customers, and we feel that they are,” Suppes said.
“They filed a lawsuit and asked for an injunction, and they somehow won the injunction. We don’t agree with the decision of the judge, but the judge decided to put an injunction in place while we settle the lawsuit, which says we can’t go to the airport any longer.”
The Saskatoon Airport Authority (SAA) said all commercial transportation operators need to be licensed, and that all commercial operators are required to remit fees back to the airport, which directly support curbside operations and training programs.
According to SAA, in August 2020, Riide’s existing licence with the airport expired.
“Riide chose not to renew their license with the airport as we moved to an open license format with multiple operators to better serve our customers,” SAA said in a statement.
“The SAA has made several attempts over the past three years to bring Riide back to the airport as a licensed operator without success.”
“Since August 2020, Riide has continued to operate on airport property unlicensed, meaning they are not remitting any collected fees to the airport, which has undermined the integrity of our commercial program, to which four other taxi operators are currently participating and abiding.”
The airport said customers can continue to use the four licensed operators at the airport which include Captain Taxi, Hey Taxi, Comfort Cabs and Radio Cabs, as well as Uber and city bus service.
“It’s kind of their way or the highway,” Suppes said about the airport. “It is unfortunate because we had a relationship with them for 50-odd years and now that’s gone. I don’t know what the fallout after all this will be, but we’d rather come to some sort of agreement that makes sense.”