Uber “Really Eager” to Return to Vancouver, Aware “Demand is There”

Vancouverites, if you’ve been wondering about when Uber will ever make its return to the city, a spokesperson Arielle Goren told The Globe and Mail recently the company is “really eager” to come back, as they “know the demand is there”:

“Our hope moving forward for Vancouver is that we will be able to return,”

Uber had its black-car service up and running in Vancouver for almost half a year back in 2012, but pulled out of the city after a $75 minimum fare was put into place by the province’s transportation regulator. As of last June, Uber admitted Vancouver was the only city they company had to back out of.

The Vancouver Taxi Association put Uber in its crosshairs and applied for an injunction last November against them, as rumours swirled the company’s UberX service was set to launch in Vancouver.

Spokesperson Carolyn Bauer from the Taxi association noted they look forward to having their claims against Uber heard in court, by companies Yellow Cab, Blacktop, Vancouver Taxi and MacLure’s:

“From my lawyer, I am understanding that we’re not going to be waiting a year to do this,”

“I can imagine it’s just a matter of time before we get a date.”

Vancouver taxi companies want Uber to operate “on the same level playing field”, which means having proper insurance, licensing and criminal record background checks. Without these in place, Uber is accused of skirting provincial and local bylaws, making for an unfair competitive advantage.

Uber’s response to the lawsuit is taxi companies have no authority in regulating municipal or provincial laws and seeks to dismiss the lawsuit altogether, saying the legal action is a tactic by the monopolistic taxi industry in Vancouver looking to protect itself.

The City of Toronto also wants Uber out of the city, as last November a court injunction was sought to have the company cease all operations there, claiming the unregulated business was putting public safety at risk.

The Competition Bureau last November called ridesharing applications like Uber “innovative business models”, as they offer consumers lower prices and convenience.

For those that have used Uber–what do you think of it compared to a traditional taxi service?