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".