Proposed taxi reforms might open the gates to the popular transportation company
By Aaron Guillen, Staff Reporter
When you have a late night out and don’t have your car, how do you plan on getting home? Most people would hop on transit, turn to a friend, or catch a taxi cab.
In the hustling and bustling city of Vancouver, there is a demand for taxis. As a global destination, it can be surprisingly hard to find one too early in the morning or late at night if a person doesn’t live in the densely populated, urban areas. A proposed taxi reform might make it easier for transportation services, like Uber, a booming company in many metropolitan areas.
“I think the outcome is that we are close. We want to move forward on what the industry could do,” said Andrea Toma, chief licence inspector for the City of Vancouver, to CBC.
There’s no denying that Uber would “energize the local economy, help make streets safer from drunk and distracted driving, and foster a more connected, less congested environment,” but is it worth the risk?
Recently, Uber has been breaking taxi bylaws in Toronto, and city officials aren’t content. Having voted on new terms in the taxi and limousine laws, Toronto has closed the loophole, thus attempting to bring Uber services to a halt.
“Until regulation is amended and/or enacted by council to permit other than the currently licenced taxicabs and limousines, the UberX service will continue to be in non-compliance with city bylaws,” said Tracey Cook, a Toronto executive director of municipal licencing and standards, to the Toronto Sun.
Looking back to Vancouver, the main concerns include public safety and the fate of the taxi industry. The monopoly on Vancouver customers could be placed in jeopardy should services like Uber merge into the streets. Among the likes of Yellow Cab, North Shore Taxi, MacLure’s Cabs Vancouver, and Black Top & Checker Cabs, the introduction of a new service could slow down competitors’ success. It is evident that more discussion needs to take place before any agreements are made.
“There needs to be better alignment between the city and provincial regulators on what we see from ride-share. We have been working with the [Transportation] Ministry themselves, that’s why we are proposing to council to allow for that continuation of dialogue,” said Toma.
Expect to hear more about these regulations in two to three months.