Uber is coming to Winnipeg in the spring
WINNIPEG -- Uber is rolling into Winnipeg. The ride sharing giant tells CTV News it is set to launch in the city by the end of spring.
Michael van Hemmen is the head of Uber’s western Canada operations. He said interested drivers can now sign up and a licensing application will be filed with the city.
"By the end of spring riders will be able to open the app, press a button and get a ride, and drivers will be able to flip on the app and start making money for their family whenever they want," said van Hemmen
Mayor Brian Bowman, and others, like city councillor Jeff Browaty, have been pushing for ride sharing giants like Uber and Lyft to enter the market.
“Yeah it's great news,” said Bowman.
The city took over regulation for the vehicles for hire industry, including cabs, in 2017.
"I just want to make sure that we can attract those international brands, so when international visitors come to Winnipeg, they've got the options that they would expect from a large modern city,” said Bowman.
Uber and Lyft both said they couldn't work within Manitoba Public Insurances’ model and opted not to operate in Manitoba. Now Uber said, while it's not perfect, it has found a way to live within MPI’s rules.
"It was a combination of us learning more about the model, MPI explaining it, and us being able to find some additional products to ensure that every trip is covered," said van Hemmen.
In a statement MPI said it’s been in discussions with Uber over the last number of years "which has led to greater understanding and level of comfort level for our insurance model. Uber is coming under the current rating model used in Manitoba. We do believe that the current model is fair, equitable and flexible enough to accommodate different regulatory frameworks that may be created by municipalities however we will continue to review and evolve where necessary to support the needs of our customers and partners,” said MPI.
Ride sharing company Tapp Car is already operating here. Winnipeg's taxi industry has raised concerns ride sharing giant's like Uber aren't subject to as many regulations as cab owners, creating an uneven playing field.
Mayor Brian Bowman said there is room for everyone.
"We want to make sure people have multiple choices for how they get around our growing city,” said Bowman.
A city report last year showed cabs still dominate the Winnipeg market with 3.2 million rides from January to August 2019. Ride sharing companies offered 266,000 in the same time span.