The provincial government of Saskatchewan has officially permitted ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft to operate in the region.
On Tuesday, the government passed the Vehicles Fore Hire Act, which stipulates how the ridesharing companies will be allowed to do business in the province.
Minister responsible for SGI Joe Hargrave told the Press that insurance rates for ridesharing drivers will be determined on a sliding scale – which means rates will be calculated based on kilometres travelled.
“If they’re basically using their personal vehicle for a full-time, you know, ride-share or full-time taxi almost, they’ll be paying that full rate,” Hargrave explained. “We want to keep that playing field as level as we can for them all.”
Ridesharing company Lyft made known its commitment to opening in the province following the Act’s passing, but said that it first needs to settle its insurance issues before it can announce an opening date.
“I mean we have an umbrella policy, but we’re working on determining what’ll be the best way to serve drivers and passengers and those conversations with SGI, and we value the relationship that we’ve started,” Lyft representative Matt Patton told CBC News.
The new legislation requires ridesharing drivers to possess a Class 4 license, have their vehicles inspected by SGI yearly, and undergo a criminal record check. The requirements were based on requests made by the Saskatchewan Taxi Cab Association (STCA).
“We’re happy. I feel like Saskatchewan is finally getting this one right. We’ve kind of, you know, stepped back a little bit and watched every other province, see what they’ve done,” STCA spokesperson Shondra Boire said. “I feel like they’re making the right decisions for the people of Saskatchewan.”