Surrey mayor still in opposition to ride-hailing services

Jan 24 2020, 1:28 pm

After the provincial Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) officially approved applications for ride-hailing operators Lyft and Uber in the province on Thursday, both companies went live in Vancouver this morning.

However, Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum said in a statement that while these companies may have been given the go-ahead, his opposition to ride-hailing coming to his city remains unchanged.

“My chief concern is the unfair advantage that has been created without any regard as to how it will impact those who are employed in the taxi industry,” he said. “It is no secret that a large percentage of cab drivers live in Surrey and the modest wages they earn go to support their families. As residents and as my constituents, it is my duty to do what I can to ensure that these jobs are not lost due to an unfair advantage that has been arbitrarily put in place.”

McCallum said that until he is “assured that a level playing field is established, I will not be supporting the issuing of ride-hailing business licences and, if there is a need, I will be asking for an increase in taxi licences for operation in Surrey.”

He concluded by saying he looks forward “to hearing about how the region will work with the province to ensure there is fair competition in the marketplace between ride-hailing companies and the taxi industry.”

Uber announced that for its customers, there will be a booking fee of $2 and a base fee of $2.50, for a total of $4.50. The per-kilometre rate is 70 cents, and the per-minute rate is 33 cents.

For Lyft, the base fare will be set at $2.50 along with a service fee of $2.50, for a total of $5. The cost-per-kilometre will be 65 cents, and the cost-per-minute will be 33 cents.

Last night, Uber announced that it would be launching in Vancouver on Friday after the city issued its first ride-hailing business licences to Lyft and Uber on Thursday.

Following the announcement by the PTB, Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart said the city has been “working hard behind the scenes to make sure that once provincial regulators approved applicants like Lyft and Uber, our staff can turn around business licences in three days or less.”

Vancouver, he added, “is ready for ride-hailing.”