MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Lyons, Joe

Geographical Areas

Edmonton, Alberta, Calgary, Alberta, Ottawa, Toronto


Throughout the world, ridesharing services compete with the highly regulated taxicab industry and governments have been compelled by various interest groups to address the regulatory uncertainty that has resulted from the emergence of the sharing economy. This paper examines the literature on policy diffusion and applies the relevant concepts to explain the proliferation of ridesharing regulations in Canada. It chronicles the experiences of four large Canadian municipalities – Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, and Toronto – and it documents the similarities in the regulatory frameworks adopted by these municipalities and other North American jurisdictions where transportation network companies are regulated. The research shows that through the learning process, regulators formulate the policy framework for ridesharing regulations based on a number of considerations. The result is that the regulatory framework adopted not only reflects the lessons learned from other jurisdictions, but also that regulators will tailor the adopted regulations to meet their own local needs.