Council Gives the Go-Ahead to Ridesharing Program

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Smart Phone
File Photo

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.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Cab companies must have an accessible vehicle…Do ride sharing companies also have to have an accessible vehicle? If they don’t then neither should cab companies.

  2. I don’t understand why you I think it’s going to take five minutes to get a ride now… Let’s think about is the same as a cab company they’ll only have let’s say 10 people working.. If you have 40 people calling in it’s still gonna take half an hour to 45 minutes for a car.. It’s the same thing but it’s all done on an app..

  3. This is a problem waiting to happen. Also, there are going to be people left out, like seniors and those with disabilities who use mobility devices and have barely any money to pay to get to appointments and so on.

  4. About time!!
    Finally an alternative to our expensive cab fairs!
    Not sure what URIDE safety policy is but I have taken Uber in Toronto and have asked the drivers questions about safety and insurance and borde the operation works. Uber drivers must have their vehicle inspected once a month or risk losing their ride share status. They carry 2 different insurances. Their own personal insurance and Uber’s insurance. When the driver is using his vehicle on a regular basis their own insurance is being used. As soon as they are logged as having an Uber passenger in the vehicle, Uber’s insurance kicks in.
    Last time I used Uber in Toronto it cost me $19 to go from Richmond Hill to Pearson Airport, where when I got there I took a limo the same distance that cost me $50.
    Ride share is the way to go.

  5. Councilman Joe Krier (D9) had questioned the effectiveness of the optional fingerprint check, but his concerns seemed assuaged by the plan to require rideshare companies to inform drivers of the optional test and offer a financial incentive to do so. The latter would involve a kind of raffle every month for a gas card drivers could use to offset their fuel costs. Tech Bloc, the local technology industry advocacy group that hosted hundreds of rideshare supporters at a rally Tuesday night, may provide funding for such a program.

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