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Need a lift home? Ride-sharing giant Uber to launch in Regina later today

This Wednesday, June 21, 2017, file photo shows the building that houses the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco.
This Wednesday, June 21, 2017, file photo shows the building that houses the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco.

Uber is set to launch in Regina at 3 p.m. Wednesday, almost three months after ride-sharing was approved by city council.

“Following the introduction of the provincial government regulation and Regina’s by-law for ridesharing services, Uber is pleased to announce the launch of Uber in Regina later today,” says a news release posted on Uber’s website.

Social media is already buzzing with excitement.

One potential driver took to Reddit on Tuesday night to post a screen shot of an email they received from Uber announcing the launch.

“All that’s left for you to do is download the Uber Driver app (and) display your Uber stickers,” read the email.

Another driver Tweeted a deal to save $5 on your first Uber ride in Regina.

Others jumped on social media to simply celebrate the long-awaited launch.

The launch with bring together Michael can Hemmen, Uber’s head of western Canada, Joe Hargrave, minister responsible for SGI, Mayor Michael Fougere and other advocates in front of City Hall at 3 p.m. for a photo opportunity.

City council approved ride-sharing regulations at February city council meeting, after much debate among councillors and members of the public advocating both for and against ride-sharing.

Some called for more to be done to improve safety for passengers, like mandatory in-vehicle cameras. Others pleaded with the city to go ahead with the status quo.

The bylaw requires ride-sharing companies to function in much the same way they do in other cities, using a mobile application with GPS capabilities and driver information. Payment can only be made through the app.

Uber rolled into Saskatoon in February.

 Companies must comply with provincial legislation, but Regina imposed little in the way of additional requirements beyond licensing and inspections.

Inspectors will be able to impose conditions on companies, forcing them to ban drivers or vehicles that don’t comply with the bylaw or when it’s “in the public interest to do so.”

There are also some requirements to ensure access for disabled people, but only those able to walk and enter the vehicle with “reasonable assistance.”

Penalties for violating the bylaw go up to $10,000 for individuals, and $25,000 for a corporation.


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