The City of Edmonton is looking at a plan that would make in-person training mandatory for drivers of cabs, limos and, yes, ride-share services.
Uber, the biggest ride-share company in the market, believes that its optional online training drivers is good enough.
This week at City Hall, a similar scene played out to one that’s already happened in Calgary two years ago, when our neighbours to the south increased training requirements for drivers of for-hire vehicles. Back then, Uber stated it did not want to see mandatory courses, with the associated fees, pushed on its drivers.
Edmonton’s Community and Public Service Committee reviewed the plan to update a bylaw that regulates cabs and other vehicles for hire, like Uber and limo services. There’s a focus on making drivers more aware of riders with accessibility issues. The plan, which still would need to be approved by council as a whole, would see the City set a training standard for all drivers of for-hire vehicles, while the industry would provide the courses. At least one of the two modules would require drivers to attend in-person.
Uber pushed back against the introduction of mandatory driver training and the training fees that would come with it.
“We would be concerned with a one-size-fits-all approach which might actually be less effective in practice,” said Yanique Williams, Uber’s public policy manager for Western Canada. She appeared remotely at the council meeting.
“For the proposed mandatory driver training, we worry that, while well-intentioned, it would pose a disproportionate burden on many individuals who turn to platforms like Uber to earn,” said Williams.