According to a new report from CBC News, Vancouver councillors say that the city is not willing to open up their streets to more taxi competition, including ride-sharing services like Uber.
The decision comes at a time when city councillors have been complaining that Vancouver is short on cabs. After an overwhelming push back from the existing taxi industry, the city failed to end the moratorium on licences. Councillor Melissa De Genova said:
“I don’t want to say [the staff report] was rejected. It just makes no sense to me that we would move forward with 38 suburban cabs, and not with the 58 accessible cabs that are so needed.”
In the end councillors decided to reject parts of the staff report that urged the city to let outside cab companies to help out with the weekend rush. The city has decided to leave the moratorium on new licences in place for another yet.
Uber Canada public policy manager Michael Van Hemmen said that even if the city opens up the streets to ride-sharing services, business would not decrease for traditional taxi services.
“Fears of ride-sharing services like Uber have Canadian cab companies raising red flags about allowing Uber on the streets.
“It’s not push back from us. It’s about making a proper living,” said Carolyn Bauer, general manager of Yellow Cabs, who pointed out that Uber has not even made a formal application to operate in Vancouver.
“You have to play on a level playing field here.”
The decision by Vancouver councillors followed a city staff report that aimed to increase the number of taxi cabs in Vancouver. The report notes that Vancouver lags behind other Canadian cities when it comes to taxi service.