Vancouver welcomed the long-awaited ride-hailing companies, Uber and Lyft, last week on Friday, January 24. Though most Vancouverites were pleased to see the companies roll into the city, to the Vancouver Taxi Association, Uber and Lyft posed quite a threat. So much so that a number of local cab companies have banded together to put forth legal challenges in efforts to shut down the new services.
According to CTV News, nine cab companies from the area are taking Uber, Lyft, and the Passenger Transportation Board to the B.C. Supreme Court.
The companies involved include Yellow Cab, Vancouver Taxi, Black Top Cabs, Maclure’s Cabs, North Shore Taxi, Richmond Cabs, Bonny’s Taxi, Burnaby Select Metrotown Taxi, and Queen City Taxi.
They have put forth a petition to rescind Uber and Lyft’s licenses and they are working on an injunction to halt their operations in the meantime.
CBC News explains that the injunction application to immediately halt the companies' services will be heard next week on Tuesday, February 4, 2020.
A spokesperson for the Vancouver Taxi Association told CBC News that the legal action is to mitigate the “devastating and irreparable” impact the ride-hailing companies may have on the livelihoods of taxi drivers in Metro Vancouver.
Back in August 2019, B.C. taxi companies had already begun their fight against online transport services in the province.
More specifically, they were concerned about the regulations Uber and Lyft would be under in comparison to the ones they are subject to.
At the time, Narcity spoke with Mohan Kang, President of the B.C. Taxi Association, who explained that all taxi drivers and the association wanted was to “level the playing field.”
He explained that promises the government had made regarding fair play between ride-hailing and taxi companies had been broken, leaving the latter at a serious disadvantage.
Some of the disadvantages include minimum fares and amounts of vehicles allowed on the road at any given time.
The issues mentioned above are still at the forefront of the Taxi Association’s fight against Uber and Lyft.
Specifically, the Vancouver Sun explains that the cab companies are arguing that the Passenger Transportation Board left them in an unfavourable position by allowing ride-hailing services to do business. This due to lower minimum pricing than taxi companies, larger boundaries of service, and the lack of a cap on the number of vehicles in operation.
According to the Vancouver Sun, the Passenger Transportation Board has 21 days to respond to the legal filing and cab companies can work for injunctions to prevent more ride-hailing licences in the interim.
Uber and Lyft have only been around for a few days and they're already making quite a splash in Vancity.