The excerpted article was written by Jeremie Charron |
WINNIPEG — A spokesperson for Uber said it’s working with MPI to see if it could operate under the province’s current insurance model, after Winnipeg became the last major city in Western Canada without Uber or Lyft.
Meantime, a Winnipeg city councillor is calling on the Manitoba government and Manitoba Public Insurance to make changes to the structure to bring the ride-sharing giants to the city.
British Columbia’s Passenger Transportation Board recently gave both ride-sharing services its stamp of approval, allowing Lyft and Uber to hit the streets in Vancouver, and leaving Winnipeg to stand alone in the west without either ride-sharing service.
Browaty is calling on the Manitoba government and MPI to offer insurance products that would make it possible for the services to operate here.
In 2017, the City of Winnipeg made the necessary changes to allow ride-sharing services to operate in Winnipeg.
Then in 2018, Manitoba Public Insurance provided an insurance model for ride-sharing services in the province — but both Uber and Lyft weren’t willing to work within that structure.
Brian Smiley, media coordinator with MPI, tells CTV News there have been no recent discussions about making changes to their current model to accommodate Uber or Lyft.
Smiley said in order for MPI to make the necessary changes to accommodate Uber and Lyft, they would first need the Manitoba government to make legislative changes.
In a statement to CTV News, a spokesperson for Uber said: “We are working with MPI on if their existing model could suffice.”
“We always want to see more Canadians benefit from ridesharing and have remained interested in serving Winnipeg. We continue to engage with city officials to make this a reality,” the spokesperson said.
Meantime, Lyft reiterated its previous position, saying, “We see tremendous opportunity for Lyft in Winnipeg, but the current insurance framework does not allow true ridesharing to operate in the province.” Lyft said it looks forward to continuing work with MPI to “to find a way forward that prioritizes public safety and consumer choice.”
CTV News has reached out to the province for comment but has not yet heard back.