Vancouver city council extends moratorium on new taxi licences for another year

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      A stand-off between Vancouver city council and the provincially appointed Passenger Transportation Board is one reason why a moratorium on new taxi licences will remain in place.

      Council voted today (October 19) to refuse to allow new permanent licences for another 12 months.

      This doesn't rule out the possibility of temporary licences being granted over the holidays in late December and early January.

      The Passenger Transportation Board wants suburban taxi licensees to be alllowed to pick up passengers in Vancouver, which is opposed by civic politicians.

      The motion by Coun. Geoff Meggs noted that the province is conducting a review of ride-sharing and taxi service, with the final report not expected until after the election next May.

      Last March, council voted to extend the moratorium by six months. It would have expired at the end of this month had council not decided to extend it.

      Prior to the vote last March, Richmond-based Kimber Cabs spokesperson Peter Stamm made the case before council for suburban operators to come into the downtown core.

      "People are steadily complaining that there's not enough taxi service on the weekend in downtown Vancouver," Stamm said at the time. "People come from the suburban areas. After 1 in the morning, the SkyTrain is not running anymore. The buses run on long intervals, so the buses are full."

      The Vancouver Taxi Association, on the other hand, has opposed lifting the moratorium. In the past, it has expressed frustration over temporary licences going to suburban taxi owners to pick up passengers in Vancouver over the holiday season.

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