Sedan service forced to charge same as limos
Published Friday, December 7, 2012 5:18PM PST
Last Updated Friday, December 7, 2012 10:27PM PST
A U.S.-based sedan service has been told it will have to charge the same rates as limos while operating in Vancouver.
San Fransisco technology company Uber connects customers with sedans and drivers through their smart phones. It rolled out a testing phase in Vancouver in the spring, charging a little more than a traditional cab but a lot less than a limousine.
But after building a loyal client base through social media, the business has run into a bureaucratic roadblock.
The Passenger Transportation Board, which regulates prices for taxis and limos, has mandated Uber to charge the same as limo service. That means a minimum of $75, even for a very short trip.
Andrew MacDonald, general manager of Uber Canada, said the change doesn't bode well for the survival of the business.
"In the short-term, it makes it very difficult to operate," said Andrew MacDonald, general manager of Uber Canada. "Customers don't understand why a five minute trip should cost $75. It doesn't resonate with them."
The B.C. Taxi Association said the business model before the change was taking away customers from its drivers as well as limos.
Currently, Uber is abiding by the regulations that are being imposed; however the company has taken to social media to convince its clients to tweet and email their local representatives to get the laws changed.