Saskatoon’s two cab companies are joining forces.
Comfort Cab Operations Manager Shondra Boire confirmed to 650 CKOM Wednesday her company is planning a merger with United-Blueline later in 2018.
“It will happen this year,” Boire said. “It’s simply just to do with keeping everything good for customer service, and just keeping up with efficiency.”
Boire said operations will be moved into a single office, which will help streamline their services.
United-Blueline currently has 97 vehicles in their fleet, while Comfort has 112.
No fare increases are expected as a result of the move, since base fare structures are controlled by the city. It’s also unclear whether the merger will lead to a re-design of one or both of the company’s fleet.
“You’ll have to wait and see,” Boire said.
Ride share discussion brings companies closer
The cab companies have been working closely together in lobbying for a level playing field with ride-sharing services.
It comes as Saskatoon city council considers rules to allow transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft to operate in the city.
Boire, who also serves as spokesperson for the Saskatchewan Taxi Cab Association (STCA), said the organization is pleased with the province’s recently-passed regime of rules for ride-sharing.
The Vehicles for Hire Act establishes that companies must have liability insurance with a minimum of $1 million in coverage, while each driver must obtain a Class Four licence and undergo a criminal record check.
“It’s been a lot of work with the province over the past year to get it to where we need it to be,” Boire said. “We want it to be safe and fair for everybody.”
She noted the STCA is expected to back off from their “daily warnings” on social media, which cited negative news stories of assaults involving Uber and Lyft drivers and advocated for a taxi flex-fleet option instead.