FROM THE FILES OF THE BRANDON SUN
Vancouver-based ride-sharing company ReRyde is recruiting drivers in Brandon, despite the city having yet to pass any bylaws regulating the industry.
Ads for the company can be found on social media and Kijiji.ca telling interested drivers to download their app and send in an application. The company’s website states that candidates are subject to a background check before being approved.
Applicants must provide proof of a driver’s licence, proof of work eligibility, vehicle registration information including a safety and mechanical inspection, a driver’s abstract, a criminal record check and an adult and child abuse registry check. The website notes that requirements may differ from city to city.
ReRyde director of operations Jamil Chaudhry told The Sun that approximately 50 to 60 drivers have put in applications so far.
The company currently only operates in Winnipeg within Manitoba, but Chaudhry said that ReRyde is also looking into moving into the Pembina Valley, Winkler, Morden, Thompson, Portage la Prairie, Steinbach and the RM of Stanley. He said that of the cities they’re looking at moving into, only Thompson and Brandon have yet to grant approval.
Chaudhry said that ReRyde hopes to start operations in Brandon within a month or two, but said that depends on how quickly they process background checks for drivers.
According to Chaudhry, ReRyde has reached out to the City of Brandon multiple times to try to make an arrangement to operate, but have yet to receive an answer.
A spokesperson for the city said that they were unable to confirm any communication with ReRyde having taken place, citing relevant people being on vacation as the reason.
However, they did say that the city is investigating how ride-sharing services might be incorporated into the existing taxi bylaw. There is no set timeline for any such amendments to be implemented.
“Might be a new twist for us,” said Coun. Ron Brown (Richmond). “I think I’d be for it, but it’s something we’d have to discuss in council.”
“I think it’s important that as a city we’re open to all opportunities,” said Coun. Shaun Cameron (University). “I think it needs to be a collaborative discussion we have as a council, though, to make sure that we make the best decision that’s right for the residents.”
Last year, another ride-sharing company called Cowboy Taxi announced that they planned to move into Brandon regardless of whether the city introduced a bylaw to regulate the industry.
That appears not to have happened, and Cowboy Taxi’s social media pages have since gone dormant, with their listed phone numbers going straight to voicemail.
» Twitter: @ColinSlark