Province announces 175 new taxi licences for Vancouver
Licences need city approval, moratorium in place until the fall pending provincial review of industry
B.C.'s Passenger Transportation Board has approved 175 additional taxi licences for Vancouver, which the province says will help meet demand for hired rides in the city.
However, the municipal government would need to lift its moratorium on new licenses, which extends to this fall as the city waits on a provincial review to see how B.C.'s taxi industry can coexist with ride-sharing applications like Uber.
The new licenses announced Friday include 26 wheelchair accessible taxis.
"Additional vehicles will help address the very real challenges that have been created by this moratorium," said Transportation Minister Todd Stone, in a release.
The province also said that customers trying to hail taxis in Vancouver currently wait for, on average, 45 minutes.
"As the Province continues to develop the framework to create a level playing field for ride sharing to come to B.C. by the end of this year, it is now time for the City of Vancouver to move forward and approve these much-needed additional vehicles," said the release.
The City of Vancouver says it will respond to the announcement on Monday.
In March, the province announced that ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are coming to B.C. while taxi advocates said they're planning to challenge the decision.