City of Vancouver to approve licences TODAY for Lyft and Uber to operate

Jan 23 2020, 2:59 pm

Just hours after the provincial Passenger Transportation Board gave approval for Uber and Lyft to operate in BC, Mayor Kennedy Stewart has said the City of Vancouver will issue its licences for the ride-hailing companies today.

“We’ve 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 Mayor Kennedy Stewart said earlier on news of the PTB’s approval. “Vancouver is ready for ride-hailing.”

“Our staff are so on top of this, we’re going to be ready to issue licences TODAY,” he then followed up with in a tweet.

Asked specifically when the city could see vehicles on the road, Stewart told Daily Hive “that’s up to the companies.”

Upon licensing approvals from the city, “there is nothing stopping Uber and Lyft from operating,” he said.

The city has already established a business licence structure of 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.

More to come…