Star-Phoenix from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada on June 1, 2018 · A5
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Star-Phoenix from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada · A5

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Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Issue Date:
Friday, June 1, 2018
Page:
A5
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FRIDAY, JUNE 1, 2018 SASKATOON STARPHOENIX A5 Police dog does its business on Drivate lawn, Handler doesn't pick it up Shannon Boire, Saskatchewan Taxi Cab Association spokeswoman and Comfort Cabs operations manager, says the merger of United Blueline and Comfort taxi companies is about improving service and is not about cost savings. She says no jobs will be lost in the move, morgan modjeski City's two taxi companies set to merge on Monday THIA JAMES Saskatoon's two taxi companies are joining forces next week, but it will be business as usual for customers for now. Comfort Cab and United Blue-line Cabs will come under one roof on Monday. The specifics of the merger are still being worked on, said Comfort Cabs operations manager Shondra Boire. The two brands will operate separately until more details about the merger are known. More information is expected this summer. Boire said they're merging to improve service, accessibility and efficiency. "It doesn't come down to cost savings or anything like that because that's all mandated by the city. So it's more internal service standards that we can improve on." Boire said she couldn't elabo Reserve rate on the "standards," and that no jobs will be lost. The merger has been in the works for a while, she said, adding the eventual arrival of companies like Uber and Lyft would have played a part in the decisionmaking, but the merger was in the works long before the immediate threat of transportation network companies (TNCs) in the province. Boire said: "A lot of people call it ride-sharing. We don't. We always knew they would be coming, it would just be a matter of what ... legislation they would have to run under." On Tuesday, the legislative assembly passed the Vehicles for Hire Act, which sets out how ride-sharing services will operate in Saskatchewan. The act gives municipalities control over how these services can operate through bylaws. Your seat FOR free Karol Noe, vice-president of licensing, customer and vehicle services for Saskatchewan Government Insurance, said the Crown-owned insurance company is working on the regulations accompanying the act, which is expected to be ready by fall. SGI is considering mandating that ride-sharing service drivers hold a Class 4 licence, the same licence taxi drivers hold. "Wejust think that's alwaysbeen the standard for people transport-ingpassengers for hire. We do want to do the best to keep our passengers safe. We think relaxing it at this time doesn't seem like the right thing to do with our traffic safety focus in the province," Noe said. SGI wants to have the same requirements for ride-sharing companies that are applied to taxi and limousine companies, including vehicle inspections and criminal record checks, she said. The act also requires ride-sharing companies to hold at least $1 million in liability insurance. SGI is takingthe annual insurance rate that taxi companies are charged for full-time service, and charging ride-share companies based on a per-kilometre rate. Koe said this is because ride-share drivers operate on a more casual basis. Increasing competition may not be the industry's greatest challenge in Saskatoon. Boire said the biggest challenge is an insufficient number of vehicles on the road to serve passengers. "That's something we've been advocating (for) for quite some time, that we do need some more cars. That's why we've never said no to TNCs. We knowthat we need more cars on the road to service everyone properly. We just don't need them all the time, so we've also been advocating for a flex fleet." A report on Saskatoon's taxi bylaw is expected to go to city council's transportation committee in June, the city confirmed Thursday. tjamespostmedia.com for MOVIE LOVERS A Prince Albert resident doesn't appear to have any hard feelings after a K9 officer with the city's police service used his lawn as a bathroom. The May 25 incident was captured by Prince Albert resident Matt Larson's security camera, according to PA. Now. The video shows the dog answering nature's call and his handler leaving without picking up the mess. When reached via social media on Thursday, Larson said he felt the Prince Albert Police Service took the proper steps to address the situation. "It was a very minor incident, which was meant to jokingly poke some fun at the local police, reminding them that we hold them to a high standard, and expect them to follow the law. Whether it is something small and quite frankly hilarious like this situation right up to the major laws," Larson wrote in a Facebook message. "I feel any added publicity would only unjustly embarrass an officer and the department as a whole," he continued. "And aside from the odd minor incident I believe they do great work for the community." The StarPhoenix reached out to the Prince Albert Police Service for comment, but a response was not immediately received. Under Prince Albert municipal bylaws, if a cat or dog, other than a designated guide animal, defecates on any public or private property other than its owner's property, the owner of the animal should "remove the defecation immediately." A police spokesperson told PA. Now an apology was issued to the resident, noting the incident occurred during a live training simulation, and is not a reflection of the police service's practices. Postmedia News

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