Last week, Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Loren Remillard presented to the Executive Policy Committee (EPC) of City Council on the proposed vehicle for hire bylaw. The Chamber’s vehicle for hire by-law recommendations to the city formed the basis of our presentation.
Long an advocate for ridesharing to roll into Winnipeg, The Chamber was pleased to speak in favour of the proposed by-law.
Since its founding in 1873, one of the core principles of The Chamber has been the importance of competition. Increased competition in the marketplace leads to more choice, with everyone raising their game to attract customers. More competition in this area will be a win for not only Winnipeggers, but for visitors to our city. The end result will be more vehicles on the road and more transportation options; something the city desperately needs.
These new vehicles could very well come from local entrepreneurs. The proposed bylaw keeps fees lower for smaller companies, with gradual increases as companies grow their vehicle fleets. By making it cheaper for smaller companies, the city has provided a good incentive for someone to start their own transport company.
As well, stricter standards are in place for drivers than what currently exists: a conviction for a relevant criminal offence or major driving offence within the past 10 years, or registration on the child abuse registry render drivers ineligible. In addition under the bylaw dispatch companies will now have to be licensed, and all vehicles for hire will need to register with a licensed company. Those aforementioned measures will help fill gaps that currently exist in the regulatory framework.
The bylaw is next up in front of the entire council on December 13, 2017. If passed by council, the bylaw will take effect on February 28, 2018. This ensures that we will very shortly know whether Winnipeg will join many Canadian cities who have already updated their bylaws.