The Government of Alberta has implemented a framework to allow transportation network companies (TNCs) to operate in a fair manner and ensure the safety of all road users.
A TNC connects passengers with TNC drivers to provide pre-arranged transportation services for compensation, exclusively through a transportation network, which can be an online enabled application (or app), digital platform, software, a website or any other system offered that is used and operated by the TNC.
A transportation network automobile is a motor vehicle with a manufacturer’s seating capacity originally designed for 8 or fewer passengers, including the driver, used to provide pre-arranged transportation of passengers for compensation through use of a transportation network, but does not include a taxi.
Vehicles that provide an on-demand service or taxi service, and are operated as a taxi at any time anywhere in Alberta, cannot be used to provide TNC services. A TNC must ensure that its transportation network drivers do not solicit, accept or transport passengers other than through the use of a transportation network (such as, street hails are not permitted by TNCs).
A taxi refers to a vehicle that meets the municipal definitions of a taxi and provides an on-demand service. Taxis are permitted to accept street hails. Taxi companies are regulated at the municipal level. If you have any questions or concerns about the requirements for a taxi company, please contact the municipality where you intend to pick up passengers.
TNCs operating in Alberta
On July 1, 2016 the Government of Alberta implemented a regulatory framework that outlines clear rules and guidelines for TNCs for the transportation of passengers.
Some municipalities also have rules for TNCs using vehicle-for-hire bylaws. To operate legally, TNCs must comply with provincial requirements and any applicable bylaws in the community(s) where they provide services.
The Transportation Network Company Regulation (AR 100/2016) can be viewed under the Traffic Safety Act.
Summary of TNC requirements
Drivers must be authorized by a TNC to operate a transportation network automobile to provide pre-arranged passenger transportation services and to access a TNC's transportation network.
TNCs are responsible for ensuring any transportation network driver accessing its transportation network has:
- Class 1, 2 or 4 Driver’s Licence
- a Police Information Check (a Vulnerable Sector Screen must be provided on the initial application)
- proof of insurance coverage that specifically covers driving a transportation network automobile for a TNC
You can get a Class 1, 2 or 4 driver licence at a registry agent in Alberta. A knowledge and road test are required, in addition to a medical fitness check. A Class 5 driver’s licence is not sufficient for transportation network drivers. For more information see how to get a driver's licence.
A police information check and vulnerable sector check must be obtained from the local law enforcement agency in the driver's city or town of residence.
Each transportation network automobile must have commercial vehicle registration and plates. The 1-55 (Ride-for-Hire Services) plate class is used to register a vehicle that operates as a TNC to transport clients to their requested destination for a fee.
Vehicles must be originally designed to transport 8 or fewer passengers, including the driver. Clients who use their vehicles to provide TNC services are only required to register in the 1-55 (Ride-for-Hire Services) plate class, provided that the vehicle is NOT used for any other commercial purpose.
Where a vehicle is registered as a transportation network automobile, the registered owner may operate as a private passenger vehicle also under this registration class. For more information on motor vehicle policies and registration requirements, contact your local Alberta registry agency.
TNCs are required to have in place either a motor vehicle liability policy or transportation network automobile insurance policy that meets minimum insurance coverage requirements as outlined in the Transportation Network Companies Regulation.
As of July 1, 2016 the Alberta Standard Automobile Form – Transportation Network S.P.F. No. 9 (SPF9) is available to insurance companies licensed in Alberta. TNCs may purchase the policy through a participating insurance agent or broker. Contact your insurance provider for more information or see insurance requirements.
TNCs must have policies in place to ensure Alberta's requirements are complied with and that records are maintained. Records maintained by the TNC may be subject to review by Alberta Transportation as part of application, audit and/or inspection processes.
How to apply for a TNC Certificate of Approval
All TNCs must register with Alberta Transportation prior to operating. If a TNC was already operating in Alberta as of July 1, 2016, then they had 30 days to register.
If after 30 days a Certificate of Approval was not issued to the TNC by Alberta Transportation, then the TNC is not allowed to legally operate in Alberta until a Certificate of Approval issued.
TNCs are expected to comply with applicable transportation legislation, and any terms or conditions applied to the Certificate of Approval by Alberta Transportation. Once issued, the Certificate of Approval is valid for a period of up to one year. There is no fee required for the TNC application.
Audit and investigation process
Alberta Transportation may investigate or audit TNCs based on safety and compliance issues and the risk to public safety.
Public complaints related to TNCs are handled in an efficient and consistent manner to ensure a high standard of client service and to support continuous improvements in road safety and compliance.
Alberta Transportation's approach to intervention and/or corrective action ensures that TNCs demonstrating non-compliance are approached in a consistent, fair and objective manner.
Intervention and/or corrective action may be taken due to the risk that TNC poses to the public. Any action taken is intended to promote positive changes in corporate behaviour.
- Transportation Network Company regulation and insurance driven by safety and fairness (June 28, 2016)
For more information on the TNC program in Alberta or to submit an application, contact Carrier Services:
Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
4920 51 Street
Red Deer, Alberta T4N 6K8