Councillor wants Halifax to take closer look at Uber, Lyft

A Halifax councillor wants the municipality to consider how to handle ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft.

Coun. Matt Whitman said a new food delivery service is just a way for the industry to test the waters.

He said 40,000 people in Nova Scotia, mostly in Halifax he presumes, have signed up for Uber Eats.

“Now they’ve got a database of customers so the next step will be to talk to HRM,” he said.

A comprehensive review of Halifax’s taxi industry has been underway since April 2017. A report is expected to be presented to the transportation committee in February.

Whitman thought ride-sharing services would be part of that review. But he said senior managers told him the issue would not be addressed in this report.

“I was surprised,” he said. “So it’s time to get the ball rolling. We’re already behind the times.”

Whitman understands ride-sharing companies are controversial with the taxi industry, although he thinks the two could co-exist.

He believes the municipality should decide if it wants to allow Uber or Lyft to operate here and, if so, if they should be regulated like taxis.

The councillor plans to ask for a report at the next regional council meeting on Jan. 29.

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