For those of us left wondering, "when will Vancouver get Uber?" it seems that the official answer is closer than ever. After the province of British Columbia officially legalized ride-hailing in B.C. last month, the Vancouver City Council has finally given Vancouver the green light for ride-hailing services to operate across the city.
Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft have faced a lot of uncertainty in the past surrounding operation in Vancouver. Finally, the uncertainty is over and the city has given ride-hailing services a big thumbs up.
According to the Globe and Mail, on Wednesday, October 3, the Vancouver City Council gave ride-hailing operators like Uber and Lyft full approval to begin operating in Vancouver.
As of now, Metro Vancouver is the only place that has been granted ride-hailing legalization.
The Council also passed ride-hailing regulations that dictate where ride-hailing operators can stop at curbs to avoid traffic congestion. They've also added ride-hailing congestion fees to make it fair for taxi companies across the city by creating a level playing field.
"I'm looking forward to Vancouver welcoming ride-hailing in a way that minimizes its impacts on traffic congestion, particularly in Vancouver’s metro core," said Mayor Kennedy Stewart, in a press release from the Vancouver City Council.
"In addition, Council has worked hard to set a level playing field for all passenger-directed transportation companies operating in the city," continued Mayor Stewart
In order to ensure that ride-hailing services operating in Vancouver’s metro core don’t create congestion, the city has passed a law that requires ride-hailing services to have a Congestion and Curbside Management Permit (CCMP) when dropping-off or picking-up at curbs.
This fee is 30 cents per each pick-up and drop-off and will be reduced by 50% for zero-emission vehicles. Meanwhile, wheelchair accessible vehicles are exempt from the fee.
"Thanks to Council’s endorsement we can move forward with strategies to ensure that ride-hailing is consistent with our long-term goals as a City to reduce congestion and emissions," said Lon LaClaire, Director of Transportation for the City of Vancouver, in the press release.
To ensure that other transport operators in the city are not adversely affected by the competition that ride-hailing services might inevitably cause, the licensing and vehicle fees for taxi and limousine companies are now set at the same cost as ride-hailing companies.
Licensing bylaw amendments went into effect on Wednesday, October 3, while the CCMP regulation will go into effect on January 6, 2020.
The legalization of ride-hailing services means that a ton of new jobs are also opening up in the Vancouver market for potential Uber and Lyft drivers.