City of Winnipeg Recommends Streamlined and Modernized Framework for Vehicle for Hire Industry in Winnipeg

City of Winnipeg Recommends Streamlined and Modernized Framework for Vehicle for Hire Industry in Winnipeg

December 1, 2017

City of Winnipeg Recommends Streamlined and Modernized Framework for Vehicle for Hire Industry in Winnipeg

Released: 1:03 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – Today, the City of Winnipeg Public Service released a report outlining a recommended regulatory framework for the vehicle for hire industry within Winnipeg, which would take effect on February 28, 2018 when the responsibility formally transfers to the municipal government from the Province of Manitoba. The framework focuses on four key pillars:

  • Passenger Safety
  • Driver Safety
  • Consumer Protection
  • Accessibility for all Citizens

The proposed Vehicles for Hire By-law is a made-in-Winnipeg solution based on examination of models that exist across the country. The proposed City of Winnipeg By-law would streamline and modernize vehicle for hire regulations, and is designed to be as non-intrusive as possible so that competition can influence how the industry evolves and innovates. The proposed By-law would also allow Personal Transportation Providers (PTPs) such as Uber and Lyft to operate legally within the City of Winnipeg. The By-law proposes requirements that would support passenger and driver safety and increase accessible options for passengers.

Some of the key highlights of the Vehicles for Hire By-law include:

  • Increasing the taxi license supply and creating a formula that will adapt to population growth.
  • Enabling PTPs such as Uber and Lyft to operate within Winnipeg.
  • 24/7 on-street enforcement.
  • Requiring licensing of dispatchers, who have not previously been licensed, and imposing reporting and other requirements on them.
  • Setting a maximum taxi fare rather than a mandatory fare, which would allow taxi service providers to compete on price with PTPs by allowing them to negotiate lower fares with their passengers.
  • Allowing existing taxi licenses (standard and accessible) and existing taxi driver’s licenses to be transitioned into the new By-law structure to minimize disruption to the taxi industry.
  • Imposing the same tough new criminal and driving record background checks on taxi and PTP drivers.
  • Creating a five-member Vehicle for Hire Appeal Board appointed by Council.

The Report also recommends that the administration of the Vehicles for Hire By-law and associated industry licensing and enforcement be placed with the Winnipeg Parking Authority. License fees are being set to achieve full cost recovery and no budgetary impact to the City, with the appropriate budget and staff being added to the Winnipeg Parking Authority’s 2018 operating budget.

The City of Winnipeg has conducted extensive stakeholder engagement over the past few months, receiving feedback from approximately 280 stakeholders including the taxi industry, potential PTP dispatchers, and organizations which have a direct stake in the industry. While not all feedback was incorporated, it was invaluable to shaping the Vehicles for Hire By-law. It is envisioned that future changes to the By-law will be necessary and stakeholder engagement will continue as we move forward.

The Administrative report will be considered by Executive Policy Committee on Wednesday, December 6, 2018.

Published at Fri, 01 Dec 2017 14:04:00 -0500