White City signs on to rideshare deal

·2 min read

White City council formally approved a regional ridesharing bylaw at its Feb. 22 meeting, accepting the recommendation of the town’s Protective Services Committee from five days earlier.

The committee voiced its support for the measure at its Feb. 17 meeting, and White City will now join a regional rideshare partnership that was spearheaded by the RM of Edenwold last year. Recently, that agreement led to Uber taking out a license to operate in the 10-community area. Other municipalities already participating include the towns of Balgonie and Pilot Butte, and the RM of Lajord.

“We would certainly applaud the initiative of the RM of Edenwold to take the bull by the horn and get this going,” White City mayor Brian Fergusson said. “When it was presented to White City earlier, there was a bit of a tight timeline on the response requested and we weren’t in a position to do that at that time. We wanted to take a step back and review it to ensure it met the interests of the town and its residents.”

With the RM of Edenwold handling the licensing portion of the regional ridesharing program, additional advantages to White City residents are there are no administration costs to securing the service, Fergusson added.

“The town has a number of objectives to provide services to residents and this fits into what I would call strategic objectives to give more services to our residents,” he said. “People have said they would like to have access to this service, so we are pleased to be able to get that into place.”

Coun. Scott Moskal also expressed support for the bylaw, indicating ridesharing can offer a lower cost service than a taxi.

The committee also received the 2020 bylaw enforcement report, which noted of the 172 reported incidents, 49 per cent of them related to parking or traffic offenses. Animal control matters came second on the list at 17 per cent. Unsightly properties, unmaintained properties, ATV/snowmobile and “other” issues each represented six percent of the matters reported.

Councillors were told of those 172 incidents, 94 per cent of them had been resolved, with five percent labelled in progress. One per cent of the files are on hold.

Increased by-law enforcement can be expected as an increase in service hours by Commissionaires in White City has been proposed, to a minimum of 468 hours. That’s an increase of 90 hours, with the summer months still to be determined.

Keith Borkowsky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Quad Town Forum