The City of Edmonton has implemented new restrictions on vehicle-for-hire services such as taxis and ride share amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The city is currently under a state of emergency and is regularly reassessing the situation to see what changes need to be made to minimize the risk of spread to Edmontonians.
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According to a release, “effective April 1, all taxis, limousines, private transportation providers, and shuttle service providers, as well as all ride sharing services such as Uber and Tapp vehicles must adhere to new restrictions, including limits to the number of passengers in a vehicle, enhanced cleaning practices and guidelines around what to do in the event of a potential exposure.”
The vehicle-for-hire industry has been deemed an essential service by the city, and the requirements are meant to ensure they continue to operate in a manner that is safe for both drivers and passengers.
Some of the new changes are as follows:
- No more than one passenger per vehicle, except if additional passengers are members of the same household, individuals in a close personal relationship, or a required caregiver, or the size and capacity of the vehicle allows for 2 metres between each passenger and the driver (e.g., shuttle bus).
- No passengers are permitted in the front passenger seat(s).
- Cleaning and disinfecting supplies must be kept in the front passenger seat in plain view and used for cleaning of vehicles after each trip.
- Door handles (interior and exterior), window controls, door locks, passenger seating area, seat belts and buckles, must be cleaned after each fare and with disinfecting cleaning products and substances. Payment devices must be cleaned after each use.
- Drivers should take appropriate care (e.g., Personal Protective Equipment) when providing physical support to passengers.
- Any vehicle that provides service to a passenger who is demonstrating coronavirus symptoms, including cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, or sore throat, or who otherwise indicates that they are at risk of having coronavirus, must be immediately removed from service and thoroughly sanitized.
The city says enforcement teams will be deployed to help ensure the new regulations are being followed.
More information on the measures the city is taking related to coronavirus can be found online.