Saskatchewan debuts ride-sharing regulations

Published: December 12, 2018

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Saskatchewan has become the latest province to approve regulations for ride-sharing company, opening a door for Uber and Lyft to operate legally. However, the government says companies are unlikely to arrive in major cities in Saskatchewan any time soon.

The province’s new ride-sharing rules will be enacted on Dec. 14, but Uber and Lyft will almost certainly not be operating in Saskatchewan on that date. Joe Hargrave, the minister who pushed through the regulations, says cities must still create their own rules before ride-sharing is rolled out.

There is also the question of whether Uber or Lyft will agree to the regulations. Uber especially has had problems with regulations created in other cities and opted not to enter certain markets.

“I’m disappointed,” Hargrave said last week. “I would have preferred to have done it two or three months ago but I didn’t want to rush it.”

Saskatoon could be close than other cities in the province as it has already passed its preliminary bylaws for ride-sharing. Mayor Charlie Clark says some companies have confirmed they would be ready to enter the market in 2018 but did not name which providers. He added a special meeting could be called before the next Saskatoon city council meeting on Dec. 17.

“There has been some desire for sure to try and have (ride-hailing) in place for the busy Christmas season,” Clark said. “We really are ready.”

Regina is further behind but expects progress soon. The city is still drafting its ride-sharing regulations, which are not expected to be handed to the council until early in 2019.

Saskatchewan’s ride-sharing regulations require drivers to pass a yearly criminal check, while vehicles must be checked annually. To work with Uber, motorists must also acquire a Class 5 license or commercial license.