Calgary, AB,

Temporary Injunction Granted

The Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta has issued a temporary injunction against drivers offering rides for a fee using the Uber app.

Justice G. H. Poelman issued the injunction to run until a full hearing December 17. At that time, The City will argue the injunction should be permanent to stop drivers from offering or providing rides for a fee using a vehicle hired through the Uber app until safety, insurance and regulatory requirements are met.

The City filed an application to temporarily stop drivers using the Uber mobile app from offering rides for a fee in breach of the Livery Transport Bylaw. A total of 57 people were named in the application as a driver or registered owner of a private vehicle offering rides for a fee.

Justice Poelman said evidence showed drivers using the Uber app were breaching the bylaw. He said the temporary injunction would extend to the drivers named in The City’s application as well as to all other people operating as an Uber driver in Calgary.

City lawyer Colleen Sinclair is pleased with the ruling.

"This is recognition that private for-hire vehicles operating under the Uber umbrella are breaching The City's bylaw and they have been ordered to stop," said Sinclair. "This pulls a number of vehicles that are not appropriately insured, licensed or inspected off the road and prevents them from offering a potentially unsafe service."

Since launched October 15, The City has charged 19 people driving under the Uber banner with 52 offences under the bylaw and the Traffic Safety Act. Investigation is ongoing related to another 19 drivers facing 48 charges.

The City continues to inform drivers, passengers and the general public about risks involved in private for-hire vehicle services. The Government of Alberta has issued an advisory notice on ride sharing services and the insurance risk they currently pose to themselves and the public, noting any third party involved in an accident in or with one of these vehicles may not have adequate or appropriate insurance. Additional risks relate to the level of vehicle inspections on private for-hire vehicles and the level of training and security checks drivers undergo.

The Court also granted an application for legal Counsel representing 45 of the 50 drivers named in the injunction application to protect the personal information of those drivers.

City Council approved recommendations from Administration November 16 to amend the Livery Transport Bylaw to regulate Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) offering private for-hire vehicle services. Council agreed to review bylaw amendments that allow a hybrid Open/Controlled entry system, meaning TNCs could operate if they meet a number of conditions, including having proper vehicle insurance, the driver having a driver's licence acceptable to the Province (for example, a class 4 licence) and passing a criminal background check.

Proposed bylaw amendments will come back to Council for review no later than Feb. 22, 2016.