Ride hailing is operating in Toronto and other North American cities, but B.C. hasn’t licensed any services yet. (Flickr)

Transportation

Surrey Board of Trade calls for ‘level playing field’ for taxi industry, ride hailing

SBOT pleased to see B.C. set no municipal boundaries for ride hailing, calls for same in taxi industry

Surrey Board of Trade says it’s pleased with B.C.’s Passenger Transportation Board announcement that there will be no municipal boundaries set for ride-hailing operators in the province, but argues the same rules should apply to the taxi industry.

“The Surrey Board of Trade wants to see a level playing field for the taxi industry as well,” said SBoT CEO Anita Huberman in a release. “That has always been a part of our ride hailing industry position. The B.C. Government should open up municipal boundaries for all taxi companies in Metro Vancouver.”

READ MORE: B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Ride-hailing companies can be licensed for a single-operating zone that includes Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Squamish-Whistler, or other large regions of the province.

Passenger Transportation Board chair Catherine Read acknowledged Monday that taxi companies are opposed to this, because the board continues to restrict their pickup zones to Surrey and other historical operating limits of competing taxi companies.

Other new regulations announced Aug. 19 include:

z No limit on the ride hailing fleet size, however, the Passenger Transportation Board says they may re-evaluate caps in the future.

z Flag rates for ride hailing will be the same as taxi. That means the minimum rate will be same as getting into a cab. There will be no caps on rates which means ride-hailing companies can still use surge pricing. Rideshare companies won’t be able to use coupons or discount codes.

z Large regional boundaries for ride-hailing companies. Metro Vancouver is a region and vehicles can drop off outside of their boundaries but cannot pick up.

Huberman also reiterated the business group’s long-standing position that the B.C.’s planned licensing restrictions are too high. The B.C. government has stated it will require class four commercial driver’s licences for ride hailing, the same licence required to drive a taxi or limousine.

That licensing requirement is a misstep, according to Surrey Board of Trade, which calls for allowing taxi and ride-sharing drivers to instead use the lower Class 5 licence in B.C., similar to Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan but only if “the driver meets strict safe driver screening criteria.”

Huberman said the business group is “disappointed that Class 4 licence requirements continue to be a part of the regulation and said “this needs to be revisited by government to enable full market participation.”

“Surrey, who has been starved of transit and transportation options, needs no restrictions on ride-hailing services and to those that want to participate, to give our business community and residents travel options,” she added.

The province will begin accepting applications on Sept. 3.

-Files from Tom Fletcher

Just Posted

Sikh millworker lodges human rights complaint against Interfor, again

Mander Sohal, fired from Delta’s Acorn Mill, alleges discrimination based on religion and disability

Guilty plea in Lower Mainland break-and-enter spree

Gordon Vincent Gladstone, 42, was charged with 12 counts relating to a dozen incidents in late 2018

Developer offers free Tesla 3 with purchase of South Surrey townhome

Century Group’s offer for Viridian development runs through Oct. 31

Police looking for missing teen last seen at Surrey Central bus loop

Surrey RCMP say Daniel Froehlich has been missing since 10 p.m. on Sept. 10

Pedestrian struck and killed by vehicle in Surrey

Investigators were asking anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Vancouver police officer hit with bear spray mid-arrest

Officer had been trying to arrest a woman wanted province-wide

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

B.C. communities urged to improve access for disabled people

One in four B.C. residents has disability, most want to work

UVic students killed in Bamfield bus crash were from Winnipeg, Iowa City

Authorities said the two victims were a man and a woman, both aged 18

Safety concerns resurface after fatal bus crash on Vancouver Island

Huu-ay-aht First Nations wants a safe route between Bamfield and Port Alberni

National weather forecasters predict average fall, cold winter

The Weather Network says precipitation will about average in most parts of Canada

Two dead, two in critical condition in highway crash near Campbell River

Highway 19 reopened Sunday night after it was closed in both directions

Most Read