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City of Belleville to consider waiving by-law to allow ride sharing in the city

By James Tubb [1]

BELLEVILLE – The city of Belleville [2] may be getting a ride sharing service.

At Monday’s council meeting, council will discuss whether or not it should wave the current by-law that does not allow for ride sharing services to work alongside the cities current taxi companies.

In a report on their website, the city says that the current by-law would require a thorough review that likely would not be competed until the second quarter of 2021.

The introduction of the ride sharing programs like would be on a temporary basis while the city reviews the by-law and tries to modernize it.

Waiving the by-law would also allow city council to vet the interest in ride sharing services within Belleville.

At the October 13 council meeting, Vince Scott, the regional manager of URide( [3]a Canadian ride sharing service), presented information to council regarding the companies services.

According to the report [4], Council was presented with four different options for handling by-law:

Insist that ride-sharing services obtain a license and comply with the by-law.

Refuse to allow the service until the by-law is amended.

Rush to amend the by-law.

Decide not to enforce the by-law and allow the services to run until the current law is amended.

The city would like to institute the ride sharing services as the weather gets colder and the holidays roll around as the volunteer run Operation Red Nose announced it would not be running this holiday season due to COVID-19.  [5]The introduction of ride sharing services would help take the potential strain away from the taxi services within the city.

Ride sharing services have been a discussion around the city of Belleville for a long time as the frustration with the current taxi services has grown. Last March, a Belleville resident started a petition to bring ride-sharing programs into the city. The petition [6] has 1452 signatures.

There are currently two taxi services in the city of Belleville, Central and Blue Bird taxi.