Dreaming of Uber in Vancouver? Think again, as Vancouver City Council has voted in favour of extending a moratorium on new taxi licenses for another year, which means no new taxis on the city’s streets—including Uber, reports CBC News.
Vision Vancouver councillor Geoff Meggs put forth the motion and explained it “doesn’t make sense” to introduce more taxi licenses, until the province finishes its review of the B.C. taxi industry (which started in January) and how it can co-exist with companies like Uber:
“We all agree more service is warranted. But no one is I think keen to put out new taxi licenses if they’re not going to be economically viable in the face of ride-sharing or any other changes the provinces could impose.”
The province is striving towards a “made in B.C.” solution to allow traditional cabs and ridesharing companies like Uber to work together.
Meggs said once the province’s report is finished, there will be no delay in issuing new licenses. The report does not have a release date, but the councillor suggested it may come after the upcoming provincial election, set for May 9, 2017. You can bet this will be an election “issue”.
Uber Canada spokesperson Susie Heath believes both the city and province should take more action to put more taxis on the streets:
“We believe that Vancouverites are clearly underserved and that people deserve access to more reliable transportation options in the city, including more taxis. The City of Vancouver and the provincial government should take action to expand the number of options available, before the busy holiday season.”
According to Heath, residents in B.C. are “clamouring” for Uber in the province, as the ridesharing service is now currently operating in over 40 cities across Canada.
Earlier this summer, it was reported the reason why Uber is not in Vancouver is due to the fact “the taxi lobby has been very successful”, according to David Gillen, director of the Centre for Transportation Studies at the University of British Columbia.
An ongoing petition by Uber to urge support for the service in B.C., currently has over 71,000 signatures, nearing its goal of 75,000 supporters.
Vancouver always is quick to call itself one of the “best” cities in the world to live in that’s also forward-thinking. However, it it won’t even allow ridesharing services like Uber to operate, especially when finding a taxi in the city is next to impossible during peak times.