Delta councillor the latest politician to push back against Uber, Lyft
The former mayor of Delta is the latest Metro Vancouver politician to push back against the pending arrival of ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft.
Days after Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum vowed to block ride-hailing in his city – a promise he might have trouble keeping (LINK) – Coun. Lois Jackson has brought forward a motion criticizing the rules set out by the province's Passenger Transportation Board.
Jackson's motion claims the regulations aren't fair, and will "allow ride-hailing firms to compete against British Columbia's taxi companies for passengers without having to comply with the same onerous rules, restrictions and requirements that the PTB requires taxi companies to comply with."
Among the sticking points are the lack of fleet size limits for companies like Uber and Lyft, and the fact that they will have much larger pick-up zones than taxis.
Jackson's motion would see Delta write to the board and ask it to withdraw its ride-hailing policy and go back to the drawing board with a full public consultation process that would involve cities' input.
The former mayor also wants Delta to submit an emergency resolution to the Union of B.C. Municipalities to bolster support for her plan.
Current Delta Mayor George V. Harvie told CTV News he wasn't present when Jackson introduced her motion earlier this week, and believes it is misguided.
"I was actually quite shocked when I saw the motion," Harvie said. "I find it totally out of touch with what Delta families need right now."
The mayor said he supports the city's taxi industry, but noted that many families are struggling to get around because of the lack of options, including public transit.
"I support any solutions that help our Delta families ... get home safely. We are so underserved by TransLink," Harvie said.
On Tuesday, the mayor of Surrey, who has echoed the same concerns raised by Jackson, made a surprise appearance at a meeting of taxi drivers, and received cheers and applause after promising to keep ride-hailing out of the city.
"The cities actually have one tool in their back pocket, and I'm going to use it," McCallum told the crowd. "Every ride-sharing company needs to have a business licence to operate in Surrey – and I'm telling you today, we will not be issuing any business licences."
The B.C. government responded to his remarks by noting local mayors don't actually have the authority to block ride-hailing services.
Only the Passenger Transportation Board is allowed to determine the boundaries that ride-hailing apps and taxis are allowed to operate in, Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said in a statement.