Uber not coming to Winnipeg yet, which is a good thing

Published: February 10, 2016

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



It seems that Uber’s long expected entrance into Winnipeg will not be happening anytime soon after the ride-sharing company shot down a recent social media rumor. An Instagram post claimed that the UberX service would be landing in Winnipeg during April, but the company said that the account was not official.

In a statement sent to CTV, Uber spokesperson Susie Heath added that the U.S. based firm has no plans to launch in Winnipeg just yet:

"We don't have specific launch plans for Winnipeg at the moment,” she said.

"I can tell you that Uber aims to expand to communities across Canada and we're always looking at what's next. We will continue to work collaboratively with officials at all levels of government as part of our ongoing process to continue to explore expansion in a number of cities across Canada."

Uber has expanded throughout Canada rapidly since making its debut in Toronto during 2014. The company is in many major cities across the country, and in every instance is currently operating illegally and with drivers lacking proper auto insurance. At the moment Winnipeg would share now familiar problems should Uber enter the city, but if the company holds off then Winnipeg could learn from the rest of Canada’s mistakes and integrate the service more smoothly.

That will mean appeasing the traditional taxi industry, which is hugely opposed to the expansion of the UberX service, although some experts suggest looking to the way other countries compensate taxi drivers as a model for finding peace with the industry.

Edmonton has recently voted to legalize Uber, with a set of stipulations that the San Francisco based company says it can work with, the legalization is expected to come into effect from March 1. Uber first needs to solve the auto insurance conundrum.

Aviva Canada recently had its ride-sharing specific coverage approved by the FSCO in Ontario, opening the door for drivers in that province to be insured when working for Uber. The insurance giant says it is going to be working with regulators to expand the policy across the country, which would be a major boon for Uber’s own expansion, even if Aviva does not endorse Uber directly.

If all these things can be worked out before Uber arrives in Winnipeg, then the city may be afforded something that other municipalities have not, an easy transition to accepting the UberX service.