After the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) announced further details last week about ride-hailing in BC and when the service will become available, Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum said today that he “does not support ride-hailing.”
McCallum’s comments come after a press conference last Monday, in which PTB chair Catharine Read said parts of BC’s rideshare legislation will come into effect September 3, 2019, when the board will begin to accept Transporation Network Services (TNS) applications.
In a statement, McCallum said his stance on the subject has “remained consistent for years,” and that “new regulations would allow ride-hailing companies the ability to pick up across boundaries, while the taxi industry must abide by limits.”
This, he said, “would create an unlevel playing field.”
In its announcement last week, the PTB said there will be no limits on fleet size for TNS, and that TNS will have have a larger operating area than taxis. Passengers can also be dropped off anywhere in BC.
As for rates, the PTB will set the minimum rate that a TNS may charge based on taxi flag rates in the operating area. TNS will not be able to offer coupons or discounts to lower these base rates.
McCallum said he is “not in favour of allowing unlimited fleet size for ride-hailing companies,” and that the “lack of regulation will negatively impact the environment and increase congestion.”
He added that this approach and these regulations “will also negatively impact the existing taxi industry, who has loyally served Metro Vancouver’s residents for decades.”
The mayor said he has sent a letter to BC Premier John Horgan voicing his concerns and “will continue to advocate for the taxi industry.”