If you’ve found it nearly impossible to hail a cab during peak hours on the weekends in Vancouver, don’t expect the situation to improve anytime soon.
The Vision-dominated Vancouver council voted in favour of Councillor Geoff Meggs motion to extend a one year moratorium on new taxi licenses pending a provincial review of ride-sharing, with support from Carolyn Bauer of the Vancouver Taxi Association.
“We respectfully request at this time that the city, mayor, council, please hold the moratorium in place until the province and the passenger transportation board gives direction.”
That means no new cabs on the streets any time soon.
Don Guilbault, who represents the suburban taxi companies, says the city is trying to stop suburban taxis from operating in Vancouver.
“I believe the elephant in the room comes in the form of bureaucratic red tape and it is compromising public convenience and public safety. The City of Vancouver taxi service in the downtown Vancouver entertainment district would be significantly enhanced by a further 38 taxis, which is exactly what Vancouver staff recommended.”
— Shelby Thom (@ShelbyThom980) October 19, 2016
Others weigh in on the situation
President of the BC Taxi Association Mohan Kang says its disappointing council members would put public convenience and safety on the backburner.
He says the decision is nothing but red tape and continues to block the approval of 38 suburban taxi licenses approved by the Passenger Transportation Board four years ago.
“They were approved from Friday and Saturday 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. And we’re all set ready to go anytime the city says go. I see no reason for this, I see no reason, except red tape. “
Asked why the Vancouver Association would support the moratorium, Kang says he has no clue, but will refrain from making personal comments as they “won’t be pleasant.”
Ride-share giant Uber, which has been pushing to get into the Vancouver market, also had something to say.
Uber Canada Spokesperson urged Council to expand the city’s transportation options before the holidays.
“We believe that Vancouverites are clearly underserved and that people deserve access to more reliable transportation options in the city, including more taxis.”
With files from Emily Lazatin