No date yet for ride-share companies Uber or Lyft to start in Saskatoon

Ride sharing is coming to Saskatoon, but the public still don’t know when.

The two best-known ride-sharing companies, Uber and Lyft, said this week they are planning to offer service in Saskatoon. Neither company’s Canadian division, however, is prepared to announce a launch date yet.

“Uber is excited about the opportunity to start service in Saskatoon,” Uber Canada’s public policy manager Jean-Christophe de Le Rue said in an email. “We have begun advertising for ride-sharing driver-partners, and hope to begin service in the near future.”

Lyft Canada shared a similar email message.

While we can’t share specific launch details at the moment, we look forward to bringing Lyft to the people of Saskatchewan as soon as possible,” Lyft spokeswoman Fatima Reyes said.

Edmonton-based Tappcar did not respond to an inquiry about a launch date.

Representatives from Uber, Lyft and Tappcar attended the Dec. 17 meeting of Saskatoon city council at which new rules to accommodate app-based ride-sharing companies were approved.

While some envisioned the mid-December approval would allow ride sharing for the Christmas and New Year’s Eve seasons, that failed to materialize.

Under Saskatoon’s new ride-sharing bylaw, drivers must charge the same base rate for a ride as taxis do: $3.75. Saskatoon is the only city in Saskatchewan that has passed ride-sharing rules.

In the first year of ride sharing, the City of Saskatoon expects about 600 drivers and 350,000 ride-sharing trips. The annual cost of regulating the new industry is estimated at $200,000.

ptank@postmedia.com

twitter.com/thinktankSK

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