More cabs potentially coming to Metro Vancouver in time for Christmas season

Nov 15 2018, 1:15 am

With the Christmas season quickly approaching, holiday revellers in Vancouver could potentially see an increased collection of taxicabs on the road to help get them home at the end of their night.

According to documents from the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB), six different cab companies across the Lower Mainland have applied to add a collective total of 136 vehicles to their fleets.

“For the 2018 ‘festive season,’ taxi companies in BC may apply for Festive Season Temporary Operating Permits (FSTOPs) and choose any time period from November 15, 2018, up to and including January 15, 2019,” the PTB said in its report.

However, those looking for options other than a cab, such as ride-hailing services like Uber or Lyft, will have to wait a little longer.

While BC Premier John Horgan told reporters on Tuesday that ride-hailing legislation will be introduced in the coming weeks, it will be some time before that translates to vehicles on the road.

The provincial government’s transportation minister Claire Trevena said the legislation will focus on consumer safety and enforcement, streamlining license applications for taxi drivers, supply and boundaries for taxis, and other passenger-directed vehicles, and working with ICBC to enable a modern insurance product.

The ministry said it expects applications from rideshare companies wanting to enter the market will be submitted to the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) to offer services to British Columbians by September 2019.

For now, Vancouver remains the largest city in North America without a ride-hailing service.

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Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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