Vancouver getting 58 extra taxis for the holiday season
Getting home from your holiday parties could be a bit easier this year after the City of Vancouver approved 58 temporary taxi licences.
Council unanimously approved the licences Thursday night, potentially paving the way for shorter waits and better service – but only until Jan. 8, 2016.
“It’s a bit of a Band-Aid solution,” said councillor Geoff Meggs. “For the long haul, I think at some point we’re going to have to come to grips with the huge demand for additional service, no matter how it’s delivered.”
Meggs said the city has heard the frustration coming from customers loud and clear.
“I can understand why,” he added. “You want to be sure that when you’ve ordered a cab ahead of time, it’s going to come and take you.”
The Vancouver Taxi Association requested 198 temporary licences that would last until March 9, but in a decision earlier this week B.C.’s Passenger Transportation Board chose only to approve 58 until early January.
The board also rejected a request for another 58 wheelchair-accessible cabs.
“We hope they reconsider that,” Meggs said. “We think those cabs should be on the road, but that’s a matter now being adjudicated in Victoria.”
The taxi industry said the new cabs are ready to go, and that the additional cars just need to be inspected before they hit the road. They’re expected to be in service this weekend.
City council also approved a five-year plan that included several new bike lanes in Vancouver’s downtown core. Staff promised there will be public consultation before building on any major routes, like the Granville and Cambie bridges.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Nafeesa Karim