Vancouver taxi licence freeze in the works as Uber plots comeback

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      Could this be Uber's big chance for a comeback in Vancouver?

      In 2012, Uber got kicked to the curb by B.C.'s Passenger Transportation Board. Now, news reports indicate executives with the San Francisco-based company behind the popular taxi and ridesharing app are meeting with city councillors.

      This news comes as city council is poised to debate a motion to suspend the issuing of new taxi licences for six months. The proposed motion, placed on the Tuesday (September 30) meeting agenda by Vision Vancouver councillor Geoff Meggs, says the freeze would "allow for consultation with the Taxi Roundtable and other stakeholders".

      "The PTB's decision to approve temporary operating permits in Vancouver to certain suburban taxi companies, along with the declared intention of so-called 'ride-sharing' companies to enter the market with or without City and PTB approval, mark a fundamental change in the industry that threatens existing standards and operators without ensuring appropriate standards for timely, safe, economical quality service," the motion's preamble states.

      Megg's motion would see city staff report back to council after the municipal election on "measures to ensure customers achieve the full benefits of new 'ride-sharing' technology without undermining the existing industry's standards for safety, driver training and green technology", among other issues.

      In July, an Uber blog post talked about a company promotion potentially marking a "satisfying start to a new beginning for Uber Vancouver".

      However, in response to that post, a PTB spokesperson sent the Straight an email stating that the "regulatory framework for commercial passenger vehicles has not changed recently" and "Limousine operators must charge Board approved rates".

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      28 Comments

      Bill Barilko

      Sep 29, 2014 at 11:46am

      Uber is just another taxi company with a slightly different business model they aren't any cheaper and their track record in Vancouver-delivering Ice Cream-is shaky/flaky and unproved.

      Note-the article above is mixing suburban taxis with limousines and as such is worth the paper it's written on.

      mike

      Sep 29, 2014 at 1:03pm

      I think PTB and city should issue 100-200 more taxi licenses in Vancouver. Make Limos and sedan car rates little more cheaper and maybe allow them flagging in downtown on the weekends. This will solve problem very easily.

      "No UBER Please"

      As They offer no proper insurance, No proper drivers background check and cars are not recognize as taxi (basically any private car can pickup passenger pretending, they are UBER) then abuse customer rights or whatever they want. It will be like wild west, how you going to find those people. Germany banned them just because of that http://ca.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idCAKCN0HO1I720140929 Big problem with UBER system is they want to create monopoly by undercutting regular taxis at beginning as few investor have invested 100' of million $$$ in UBER. Once they control the market, they can changes prices with one click. Remember!!! they follow no rules so, no GOVT authority can tell them what is maximum they can charge.

      Best solution to taxi crunch in Vancouver will be keep rules in place. Issue more taxis license. There are lot of sedan car and limousine licenses in Vancouver, So use them little more.

      jeff

      Sep 29, 2014 at 4:49pm

      no uber pl use proper taxi license

      bringbackuber

      Sep 29, 2014 at 4:58pm

      Uber is much more convenient than regular Taxis. It's saddens me that I can travel the world and use uber everywhere, but not in my own hometown!

      Think of the convenience it'll bring and the reduction in drunk driving!

      Nathan

      Sep 29, 2014 at 10:34pm

      Why not? The owners and taxi companies are selling the free licenses that once they got free from
      City hall as high as one milioon dollars, I don't see any city councilor worried about it. When you are going to look into the monopoly that the taxi owners have created in the lower mainland? Uber is coming because taxi owners disrespect customers and talk to them bad and are always on their phone while driving.

      kam

      Sep 29, 2014 at 10:35pm

      No matter how hard they try.they will not be able to stop the technology to get in.

      Colin

      Sep 29, 2014 at 11:38pm

      I am a Vancouver resident, and own a vacation home in Scottsdale, AZ. I also travel frequently to other westcoast cities where UBER is available. I adore the UBER experience (I just stepped out of an UBER ride 10 min ago). I just googled 'UBER Vancouver' and came across this article. The experience of being able to be be driven around at 1/3 - 1/2 of the price in a nice car where I can actually have a conversation with the driver (because he isn't on his phone, and treats me gratefully/respectfully as a customer) is a breath of fresh air. Bring UBER back to Vancouver and end the taxi cab monopoly and virtual cartel! Get with the times Vancouver politicians! Reminds me of the record industry vs Napster. Technology will eventually win out.

      Thomas Folkestone

      Sep 29, 2014 at 11:56pm

      New York has had Gypsy Cabs for decades. In part because it's so hard to get a cab in some areas.

      It'd be nice to be able to actually flag down a cab and get a ride from downtown at night. Let's face it, our options here suck and keeping the cab monopoly is good for its owners but not the people of this city.

      Aj

      Sep 30, 2014 at 7:42am

      Recently. Taxi companies in vancouver and in other cities have started threatening their drivers that if they sign on Uber, they can be fired from thei job. They are forgetting this hs Canada not India or Pakistan .

      pavan

      Sep 30, 2014 at 9:08am

      honestly Uber is just like a taxi with no license and the possibility of dangerous encounters happening is high as we've already seen it happen around the world. City of Van should just approve more taxi licenses so the shortage would be accommodated.