November 10, 2016

Winnipeg rejects “Uber” snow clearing system

Winnipeg city council voted down a motion Sept. 23 that would have seen the public works department utilize an “Uber-style app” for micro bids from private contractors on residential snow clearing contracts.

Coun. Russ Wyatt proposed the sharing-economy system to the city’s innovation committee as a way to cut costs.

“I see the benefit as being first of all improving our service levels,” Wyatt told Winnipeg Metro. “Our system is based on sections of the city, fairly large areas being tendered out. I would foresee this where you break it down on a far smaller scale, where you break it down block by block, where you’d be able to get individuals (involved)… It could be quite empowering, (and it could) create some entrepreneurs.”

City staff strongly opposed the idea, citing insurance issues and concerns about what would happen if streets didn’t draw bidders.