Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum says he has “no concerns” over Uber’s threat of legal action against the city. (Photos: Now-Leader/Flickr) Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum says he has “no concerns” over Uber’s threat of legal action against the city. (Photos: Now-Leader/Flickr)

McCallum says IMBL a ‘major step forward’ in fixing ‘unfair advantage’ over taxis

Surrey mayor says he hasn’t budged from quest for level playing field

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum says the proposed ride-hailing Inter-Municipal Business Licence (IMBL) agreement released by the Mayors’ Council of Regional Transportation on Friday “takes a major step forward” to address what he says is an “unfair advantage” ride-hailing companies have over taxi companies.

“I have not budged from my position that a level playing field must be in place for ride-hailing and taxi companies to compete in,” he reiterated in a press statement issued Friday by city hall. “My fight is about ensuring fair competition in a highly regulated industry. The IMBL approved by the Mayors’ Council today levels the playing field and it has my support. I now urge the province and the Passenger Transportation Board to do their part to establish equity for those employed in the vehicle for hire industry by reviewing taxi boundaries, fleet caps, insurance requirements, and ensuring ride-hailing vehicles provide accessible services for customers of all abilities.”

The Mayor’s Council is urging civic governments to start adopting this proposed bylaw as soon as possible. According to a TransLink press release, it provides a single set of requirements for participants. Under the IMBL, ride-hailing companies will be able to get one operating licence instead of separate business licences for each city or municipality, “which could become administratively onerous and expensive.”

READ ALSO: Uber wants court to stop Surrey ‘from issuing illegal tickets’

Asked Friday if the city will be continuing to fine Uber drivers operating in Surrey, McCallum said, “I’m not going to answer that question.” He did not return a request for comment Monday. Oliver Lum, the City of Surrey’s communications manager, was asked the same question on Monday, and replied, “This matter is before the courts and there will be no further comment.”

Last week Michael van Hemmen, Uber’s head of Western Canada, revealed that Uber had filed for an injunction with the Supreme Court of British Columbia “to stop the City of Surrey from issuing illegal tickets.”

“The city’s actions are unfair to local residents who want to earn money and support their families,” he said. “It is also unfair to those who need a safe, affordable and reliable ride.”

The court is expected to hear arguments Wednesday, Feb. 5.

Meantime, New Westminster Mayor Jonathon Coté, chairman of the Mayors’ Council, said the development of this IMBL “has demonstrated how our region can work collaboratively together.”

The IMBL would see ride-hailing companies pay a $155 yearly per-company fee and an additional $150 charge for each vehicle. This per-vehicle fee, however, will be waived for those that are wheelchair accessible, and be $30 for vehicles with no emissions. The City of Vancouver will administer the interim IMBL, and collect fees and trip data that will be shared with participating cities and municipalities each month.

Sophia Cote, Western Canada public policy manager for Lyft, said Friday her company is pleased the Mayors’ Council has agreed on the IMBL framework, “that will best serve the region’s residents and visitors.

“At Lyft, our mission is to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation, and we are optimistic that this draft bylaw will allow us to offer riders and drivers a more seamless transportation experience that reflects how people travel within the region,” she said.

“We are committed to continuing conversations with all participating municipalities so that we can see the IMBL come into effect, and will work with all relevant stakeholders to ensure the long-term regional approach best serves the needs of the region’s residents and visitors.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

City of SurreyUber

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey firefighters battle a house fire near the 70A Avenue and 126A Street intersection early Sunday morning. According to a witness, it appears that the occupants were able to get out without injury. (Shane MacKichan photos)
PHOTOS: Fire causes extensive damage to Surrey home

Occupants able to escape without injury: witness

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Five Surrey schools reporting COVID-19 exposures, including another at Panorama Ridge

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

(Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay)
QUIZ: A celebration of colour

Fall in British Columbia is a time to enjoy a spectrum of vivid colours

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Mounties looking for teen boy ‘unlawfully at large’ from Riverview psychiatric hospital

Nolan Godron left the hospital, located at 2721 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, without consent on Saturday

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Hydro map showing where power has been knocked out is dotted with over a dozen outages. (BC Hydro map screenshot)
Thousands without power in Lower Mainland on election day

One outage in Langley and Surrey is affecting over 4,000 customers

file
One dead after fiery crash near Agassiz

Agassiz RCMP report a 56-year-old man died Friday night

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

Most Read