City Council voted June 19, 2017 in favour of making bylaw amendments that will pave the way for Transportation Network Companies (TNC) to operate in Lethbridge.
Council approved a recommendation from administration that will see amendments introduced later this year to the Business License Bylaw that will recognize TNCs as being distinct from taxis and allow them to operate in the city with a single business license without requiring individual business licenses for their drivers.
“Once these bylaw changes are enacted, there will be more transportation options for Lethbridge residents,” says Mayor Chris Spearman. “We expect college and university students in particular will welcome these new options.”
TNCs and their drivers will operate under provincial legislation introduced in 2016 and will be subject to background checks by the province. Provincial vetting of TNC drivers is similar to local vetting of taxi drivers in that both require a Class 1, 2 or 4 driver’s license, a criminal record check, special insurance, and commercial vehicle registration.
“The changes we’ll be making will provide the assurances that passengers want for their safety while ensuring a level playing field where TNC drivers must meet essentially the same requirements as taxi drivers,” says Councillor Rob Miyashiro.
In preparing its recommendation, City administration consulted eight other Alberta cities and also sought input from 17 local taxi business owners.