City of Vancouver says it is "ready for ride-hailing"

Dec 2 2019, 4:45 pm

Noting that its staff members are already “working closely” with the companies involved, the City of Vancouver said on Monday that it is “ready for ride-hailing.”

The announcement comes after city council gave the green light for ride-hailing companies to operate in Vancouver last month.

“I’m looking forward to Vancouver welcoming ride-hailing in a way that minimizes its impact on traffic congestion, particularly in Vancouver’s metro core,” Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart said at the time.

And while there is no word from the provincial government on when exactly such services will be on the road, the city has now laid out what those services will look like once they arrive.

The city said its ride-hailing regulations “were put in place to ensure that Vancouver can experience the advantages of ride-hailing as soon as companies obtain a Provincial TNS licence from the Passenger Transportation Board.” Once the Provincial licence is issued, companies can obtain a municipal business licence from the city.

In what it said is a move to keep costs fair for all operators in the city, the licensing and vehicles fees for taxis and limousines companies are now set at the same cost as ride-hailing companies. The annual licence fee is $155, and as part of their business licence, ride-hailing companies pay a $100 annual fee per vehicle. Accessible and zero-emission vehicles will have their fee waived.

Licensing fees cover the program administration costs and analysis of trip and vehicle data submitted monthly by companies. Data collected will be used by staff to audit and evaluate the impact ride-hailing has on transportation and congestion in Vancouver.

A new Congestion and Curbside Management Permit program was also designed to mitigate congestion on city streets during peak traffic hours and will take effect on January 6, 2020. Ride-hailing vehicles operating in the metro core between 7 am and 7 pm are required to pay 30 cents per each pick-up and drop-off as of January 6, 2020. These fees will be reduced by 50% for zero-emission vehicles.