City Council voted in favour of a resolution to allow companies who meet specific licensing criteria to operate ridesharing programs within the Sault during Monday evening’s meeting.
Now that the bylaw has been passed, a rideshare program could come to the Sault as soon as a couple of months, pending express of interest from a company and licensing through the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service, City Solicitor Karen Fields explained.
Fields said one company, URIDE, has expressed interest to her thus far. Company owner Cody Ruberto is hoping to expand into the Sault, after spreading from Thunder Bay to Chatham-Kent, North Bay, Sudbury, and Winnipeg.
Fields was unable to answer questions in regards to safety matters, such as how long a driver can work consecutively or if winter tires are a requirement, but said these will be answered as the process unfolds.
Fields did say, however, that vehicle inspections will be required, drivers must have proof of insurance and need criminal records checks and will need to pay licensing fees.
Rideshare programs work through smartphone apps, allowing riders to order and track their driver from their device. For safety purposes, riders can only connect through the app, which gives them a quote and allows the driver to alert their arrival, eliminating the risk of someone getting into the wrong vehicle.
Riders can only pay through a credit card linked to the app and will receive a receipt via email upon completion of the ride.