Edmonton city council votes against turning to ride-sharing companies for transit help

Uber logo on wall

Edmonton City Council has voted against turning to companies like Uber to save costs on public transit.

In a 5-5 vote (ties result in a motion being defeated under Edmonton’s municipal voting system), councillors voted against a proposal that would have dramatically changed the face of the city’s transit system. Had the vote passed, the city would have looked to companies like Uber and Lyft to service some of its less frequently used bus routes.

“It was an unfortunately ideological position that didn’t recognize the fact people use taxis today or other ride-share services today for their journey to fill gaps that public transit can’t fill,” said Mayor Don Iverson, who voted in favour of the motion, after it failed to pass.

Other members of city council, including Councillor Bryan Anderson, were less excited about the possibility of turning to a private-public partnership to serve the city’s suburbs.

“If it’s impossible (to find solutions in public transit), then someone down the road can investigate the possibility of partnering with ride-shares,” he said in an interview with MetroNews. “I don’t want that on the table for the first go-around.”

City council has the option to explore a private-public transit partnership at a later date.

In the meantime, the city will look toward implementing some of the other recommendations that council passed as part of its revised transit strategy. For example, city planners will look at the feasibility of implementing a dial-a-bus system, which would see some of the city’s buses pick up riders at their homes and then drop them off at major stops.

[source]MetroNews Canada[/source]