Surrey amends bylaws to establish "fair competition" between ride-hailing, taxi industry

Feb 25 2020, 7:05 pm

In a move it says is meant to establish “fair competition” between ride-hailing vehicles and the “highly regulated” taxi industry, the City of Surrey announced it has approved “several” amendments to modernize the City’s Vehicle for Hire and Business Licence Bylaws.

“I am pleased that council approved the amendments to our city bylaws to support a level playing field between taxis and ride-hailing vehicles,” said Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. “We are doing what we can within the city’s jurisdiction to create equitable competition between taxis and ride-hailing companies.”

The mayor said he will also “continue to advocate that the province and the Passenger Transportation Board do their part in supporting a fair competitive market for those employed in these industries.”

Surrey mayor

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum (Eric Zimmer / Daily Hive)

Council endorsed the following improvements to City bylaws to ensure that all passenger directed vehicles, including taxicabs, reflect the same regulatory environment as provided in the IMBL to the extent possible under the city’s jurisdiction:

  • The fees for Surrey taxicabs will be reduced from the current $161.75 in company fees and $441 annual fee per taxicab to match the licencing fee structure of the IMBL;
  • Taxicabs in Surrey will now pay the same fee as their ride-hailing counterparts of a company fee of $155, plus a per vehicle fee of $150 for each vehicle;
  • The same incentives are provided to zero emission taxicabs, with a reduction to $30 per vehicle, and the fee waived for wheelchair accessible taxis.

Council has also approved taxicabs to travel in marked bus lanes, as well as allow wheelchair accessible taxicabs to park in accessible parking spots while loading and/or unloading passengers in city-owned parking lots.

In addition, the maximum age of taxicab vehicles has been increased from seven years to 10 years to match PTB requirements for ride-hailing vehicles.

“The PTB will perform vehicle inspections on all passenger directed vehicles annually for vehicles that travel more than 40,000 km per year, and biannually for vehicles that travel less than 40,000 km per year,” the city said. “In addition, all taxicabs will now receive inspection via the PTB.”

Council also approved the Inter-Municipal Business License (IMBL) for ride-hailing at last night’s council meeting.

Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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