Lyft has hundreds of drivers ready for Vancouver, while Uber hasn't reported any

Jan 23 2020, 5:06 pm

Just hours after the provincial Passenger Transportation Board gave approval for Uber and Lyft to operate in BC, the City of Vancouver has issued its first ride-hailing business licences to Lyft and Uber.

Speaking about the decision, the city’s chief licence inspector Kathryn Holm said the licensing “ensures our residents gain access to the advantages of ride-hailing immediately without compromising the city’s commitment to passenger safety, increased mobility and accessibility, reduced carbon emissions, and affordability.”

She also spoke about the current fleet availability from both operators.

For Lyft, Holm said at this point “they are able to put vehicles on the road. It’s our understanding that Lyft has advised us they have 388 standard vehicles and 23 zero-emission vehicles that they are ready to operate today.”

As for Uber, Holm said the company “has not provided any information” about the numbers.

Uber

Kathryn Holm (Daily Hive)

However, she said, “Uber is in a position now that they have a licence with us to onboard vehicles and to report to us on a monthly basis, same with Lyft as they onboard vehicles.”

The city has already established a business licence structure with annual fees of $155 per ride-hailing company and $100 per vehicle, plus 30 cent pick-up and drop-off fees within the downtown Vancouver peninsula and Central Broadway Corridor.

The annual fees established by the City of Burnaby for their business licence are even higher, set at $600 for the first year and $180 annually for renewal for a ride-hailing company, and $510 for the first year and $280 annually for renewal for each vehicle.

At least three other municipalities have also established or are in the process of creating varying fees for their own business licences.

A decision passed by the Mayors Council in December 2019 approved the regional Inter-Municipal Business Licence (IMBL), meaning eventually, only one business licence will be required for ride-hailing companies in Metro Vancouver, regardless of where they operate. Timing for that licence is unknown, though a full framework is expected by the end of the year.