After Uber and Lyft officially launched in Vancouver last week, a collection of cab companies in the region have now filed a legal challenge against both ride-hailing operators.
“As the experience in other jurisdictions conclusively establishes, ride-hailing services, or Transportation Network Services (TNS) … have had an extremely harmful impact on participants in the taxi industry,” the petition reads.
The petition states that the “cornerstone of the taxi industry” is the fact that there has always been a cap on the number of taxis that could operate in a single geographical area.
“These limits have been imposed to prevent the destructive competition that would occur if there were unlimited entry into this field,” it states. “The business model of … Uber and Lyft is to dominate the … market by not having to comply with the rules and regulations that apply to taxis.”
Ride-hailing companies “do not want a limit on the number of vehicles they deploy through their apps, and they do not want restrictions on the prices they charge to customers, because the absence of such requirements gives them significant competitive advantage over taxis and allows the owners of the companies to maximize their profits,” the document states.
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They also claim that the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) “has improperly dismissed the impact on the taxi industry by saying “the economic devastation the PTB is inflicting on them was their own fault for creating a market for taxi shares, and that they should have seen it coming.”
According to the documents though, “the industry had basically no notice that ride-hailing would be introduced in a totally unregulated fashion,” and the PTB’s “complete failure to ensure that the public interest is protected, including by ensuring a fair and level playing field for existing passenger transportation service providers, is why this petition has become necessary.”
The cab companies behind the court challenge are Yellow Cab, Black Top Cabs, Maclure’s Cabs, Vancouver Taxi, North Shore Taxi, Bonny’s Taxi, Burnaby Select Metrotown Taxi, Queen City Taxi, and Richmond Taxi.