Good news for holiday partiers who are worried about having to hail a cab in downtown Vancouver.
The Passenger Transportation Board has granted 58 temporary taxi licences, and now the proposal goes to City Hall for approval.
But Carolyn Bauer with the Vancouver Taxi Association tells CKNW’s Lynda Steele that that’s not good enough.
“We can only operate from tomorrow until Jan the 8th. No, it’s not good enough. Talk to anybody out there, talk to people, I hear it.”
Four Vancouver-based taxi companies had applied for 198 temporary permits for additional cabs until March.
In its application decision, the board wrote that the three-month pilot project did not meet the intent of temporary operating permit to address an “urgent” need, and that because it covered a time period beyond a seasonal spike, it may impact others in the industry. The board also stated in its decision that an “…application of this size should be published, allowing for submissions from other interested parties.”
The TOP breakdown by company:
B.C. Taxi Association spokesman Mohan Kang says there is a simple solution being overlooked.
Three years ago, the board approved 38 suburban taxis to operate downtown on weekends, but the licenses were halted by City Hall.
“Why, why, why? Because it does not make any sense at all. Why they should be depriving the general public much needed taxi service when they got it in their own hands?”
Vancouver still has a moratorium on taxi licences.
The Chair of the Passenger Transportation Board says Vancouver taxi companies failed to prove there is an urgent need for 198 more cabs on the road this Christmas season.
Don Zurowski says that’s why the board approved only 58 temporary licenses over a 30-day period.
“We did not feel we would be operating within our legislative authority approving it on the basis of urgency, when the application was short evidence of real urgency beyond the festive season.”
But UBC professor Dr. Garland Chow, who conducted a study for the taxi companies, says data shows at least 160 more temporary permits are warranted.
“I don’t think that would be enough taxis to get everyone off the road quickly, or back home quickly.”
The City of Vancouver says it’s reviewing the license application and it will go to council shortly.