(Flickr image)

Uber says it’s been serving North Surrey since 8 a.m. Friday

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum has voiced vehement opposition to ride hailing in this city

There’s uber confusion over Uber operating in parts of Surrey Friday, despite Mayor McCallum vowing to deny such ride-hailing companies business licences here.

Uber launched its operation in Metro Vancouver on Jan. 24, with North Surrey included in its service map.

Matt MacInnis, vice president of corporate communications for Uber, told the Now-Leader that pick-ups and drop-offs were available in parts of Surrey. “That’s as of 8 a.m. this morning,” he said Friday. “Pick-up can happen anywhere within the shaded area of the map.”

homelessphoto

Stephanie Sedlak, of Uber policy and communications, echoed that.

“The app was live as of 8 a.m. this morning, if you look at the service map, we are servicing parts of Surrey right now,” she told the Now-Leader on Friday morning.

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum has voiced vehement opposition to ride hailing in Surrey, claiming it’s unfair to local taxi drivers. City Hall issued this statement Friday, after the Now-Leader sought his response to the latest developments.

“The approval of ride hailing companies in Metro Vancouver by the Passenger Transportation Board does not change my position on this issue,” McCallum stated in the press release. “What continues to be my chief concern is the unfair advantage that has been created without any regard as to how it will impact those who are employed in the taxi industry. It is no secret that a large percentage of cab drivers live in Surrey and the modest wages they earn go to support their families. As residents and as my constituents, it is my duty to do what I can to ensure that these jobs are not lost due to an unfair advantage that has been arbitrarily put in place.”

READ ALSO UPDATE: Ride-hailing launches in parts of Metro Vancouver

READ ALSO: Surrey mayor the lone vote against regional business licensing for ride hailing

READ ALSO: Surrey mayor slams ride-hailing, again

McCallum argues that the taxi industry “meets the needs of all its passengers by having vehicles for hire that can accommodate people of all abilities.

“Until I am assured that a level playing field is established, I will not be supporting the issuing of ride hailing business licenses and, if there is a need, I will be asking for an increase in taxi licenses for operation in Surrey,” he said. “I look forward to hearing about how the region will work with the province to ensure there is fair competition in the marketplace between ride hailing companies and the taxi industry.”

Meantime, MacInnis said that “when it comes to business licences, there is a inter-municipality business licence process that the mayor’s council is going through now, and Uber is participating in the process.”

A Lyft press release issued by public relations company Citizen Relations indicated on Friday that there “are currently three driver hubs located in Surrey, Richmond and the City of Vancouver.”

Laurie Fletcher, a senior account executive with Citizen Relations, said Lyft is not operating in Surrey yet; however, we will be continuing to expand the operating area.

“We do have a hub there (in Surrey),” she said, “but we aren’t operating it there yet.”

“I can’t comment on the exact time,” she added. “We don’t have an official time frame.”

Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman, who has been a vocal advocate of ride hailing in Surrey, said the board is pleased with Lyft and Uber being approved to operate in the Lower Mainland and Whistler.

“Surrey needs ridesharing,” she said. “Surrey needs more transit and transportation options. We hope all local government decision makers see the need for this in Surrey.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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

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

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP looking for ‘distraction theft’ suspect

Suspect allegedly tried to swipe a man’s necklace while giving him a hug

Cloverdale automobile shop offers to pick up, service, and drop off vehicles

Surrey’s Visscher-Pau Automotive starts ‘Blue Glove’ valet service, will cover Cloverdale, Langley, Newton, Fleetwood, and Hazelmere

1,000 food hampers packed for delivery to students of Surrey’s inner-city schools

City Dream Centre-led initiative involved volunteer effort at Horizon Church in Newton

Surrey councillor wants property taxes deferred to December

Linda Annis is expected to present notice of motion to that effect at April 6 “virtual” council meeting

Person found dead after apartment fire in White Rock

Crews called to Foster Street complex at 7:30 a.m. Monday

As 300K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Easter Bunny not a COVID-19 carrier, allowed to do drop offs

World Health Organization grants permission to Bunny as he cannot transfer the virus

Most Read