A black Toyota Sienna van pulled as much as metropolis corridor Tuesday morning with an Uber brand on its entrance window and the mayor of Winnipeg within the backseat.
Michael Van Hemmen, the pinnacle of metropolis operations for Uber Canada was behind the wheel, and he and Brian Bowman emerged with masks over their faces, flashing thumbs up in celebration of the ride-hailing big’s long-awaited arrival in Winnipeg.
“Easy message,” Bowman stated, standing at an Uber-branded podium outdoors metropolis corridor. “Winnipeg, your Uber has lastly arrived.”
Bowman touted the corporate, which treats its drivers as contractors relatively than staff, as a constructive addition to town, “growing employment alternatives” and providing extra selection within the transportation market.
Whereas different Canadian-owned ride-hailing firms, resembling TappCarr and Cowboy Taxi, have been working in Winnipeg for a few years, Bowman stated Uber is the primary main worldwide experience service within the metropolis.
Uber had beforehand resisted coming to Winnipeg on account of what it referred to as MPI’s restrictive insurance coverage construction.
In another Canadian cities the place the corporate operates, drivers have unionized, citing labour issues resembling pay beneath minimal wage, lack of advantages and a restrictive arbitration course of that requires office complaints to be heard within the Netherlands.
Uber’s entry into comes because the Winnipeg Neighborhood Taxi Affiliation requested council for non permanent reduction from metropolis charges in response to the business’s large income losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bowman stated the corporate’s arrival would result in elevated competitors and improved service for residents.
“In the end, what Winnipeggers have been demanding, and I have been fairly public about now for about three years is that they’re in search of selection, and so I feel the query must be what do Winnipeggers need, they usually’ll have that choice now to make use of a world model in addition to the present manufacturers within the ride-sharing area, in addition to the taxi business and public transportation in addition to single-occupancy automobiles and lively transportation,” he stated.
“All of these decisions are what residents count on in a contemporary rising metropolis.”
MADD Winnipeg’s Trevor Ens stated Uber offers one other strategy to keep away from driving drunk and taking a safer type of transit.
Bowman and van Hemmen stated the corporate’s arrival would additionally result in employment alternatives, as potential drivers can join versatile work shifts to earn earnings on demand.