A Vancouver Uber driver was shocked to get a bylaw infraction ticket after he accepted a ride request in Surrey.
A new report from CTV states that Uber driver Carlos Altamirano Medina went to pick up a passenger in Surrey on Sunday. When he pulled over, he was met by city by-law enforcement officers, handed a piece of paper, and told he could be facing a $500 CAD fine.
He was dropping someone who he had picked up at Vancouver International Airport off when he received a request through the Uber app to pick someone up at the Safeway on King George Highway. A woman waved him over and asked if he was from Uber. When he confirmed that he was, uniformed city officials showed up.
“They told me, ‘We are from the City of Surrey and you are not allowed to be picking up people in the City of Surrey because you do not have a license,'” Carlos explains.
The city sent a letter to Uber Friday demanding the company cease operations in the city. Uber responded by saying they “respectfully decline.”
“Surrey has requested that Uber pause operations, but we respectfully decline,” the ride-hailing company said in a statement. “No other city is taking this approach.”
Uber and main competitor Lyft both received provincial operating approval Thursday. Lyft conned its initial operations to Vancouver, where the city issued both companies a municipal business licence. But Uber quickly branched out to other Metro municipalities, including the Surrey neighbourhoods of Newton, Fleetwood and Panorama Ridge.
“City staff has contacted Uber and advised that Surrey city council has not yet provided its official position on how it wishes to deal with ride-hailing business licences,” said Rob Costanzo, the city’s general manager of corporate services. “Until a decision is made, ride-hailing companies are precluded from operating within Surrey’s boundaries.”
Uber’s manager for western Canada, Michael van Hemmen, responded, saying that Uber was fully allowed to operate in the city.
“The Passenger Transportation Board and the provincial government have given Uber all necessary licences authorizing Uber to continue operating across Metro Vancouver and in the city of Surrey,” he said to the Vancouver Sun.
Vancouver is the last major Canadian city to get Uber, and the company announced the launch on Friday, January 24.