Written by Colin Fast, Director of Policy at The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce
It has been eight months since the launch of ridesharing services in Winnipeg. Since then, there have been a number of Personal Transportation Providers (PTPs) that have set up shop, namely TappCar and five others. The early verdict is Winnipeg ridesharing is running smoothly, but for many, the absence of the industry’s largest operators – Lyft and Uber – remains an issue, in particular for international visitors to our city.
Both Lyft and Uber are now among the top-six most frequently expensed business costs in the U.S, so we know that business travelers expect to find these transportation options when they visit our city as well.
Having access to a wide range of rideshare providers, including the two biggest names in the industry, would help create a positive impression of Winnipeg as a city that embraces competition and innovation in the eyes of potential investors, employees and business partners.
According to Chamber President & CEO, Loren Remillard, the issue is not a preference of an operator over others, but of the desire for increased competition in the marketplace. “Competition stands at the very heart of business and is a fundamental principle behind every Chamber policy since Day 1,” he notes. “It breeds greater innovation, improved performance and better outcomes – for employers and employees alike. Ridesharing is no different. The Chamber, and all Winnipeggers, want to see an open and inviting marketplace that supports these goals.”
And while the local rideshare industry is running on all cylinders, Lyft and Uber are already moving ahead in other cities to develop complete mobility networks that combine rideshare, carshare, bikeshare, electric scooters, public transit and autonomous vehicles all on the same platform.
Joseph Okapu, Lyft’s Vice President of Public Policy, will be the featured speaker at the Winnipeg Chamber luncheon on November 19th. He will discuss Lyft and the Winnipeg market, the economic argument for Winnipeg to expand ridesharing services, and the opportunities to accelerate innovation within the mobility space.
Join us for our next Luncheon:
With Joseph Okpaku, VP of Government Relations at Lyft