British Columbia

Burnaby eyes Uber service despite continued ban in Vancouver

Uber — the internet ride-sharing company currently banned from operating in Vancouver — will be making its case to councillors in neighbouring Burnaby tonight.

Controversial ride-sharing service Uber to present to Burnaby's executive council tonight

Uber is seen on the iPhone of a driver. Uber has entered more than 100 markets, from San Francisco to Berlin to Tokyo, but was shut down in Vancouver three years ago. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Uber — the internet ride-sharing company currently banned from operating in Vancouver — will be making its case to councillors in neighbouring Burnaby tonight. 

The City of Burnaby has invited a representative from the company to make a presentation at an executive committee meeting tonight.

But the internet company still has a long way to go before getting approval, says Councillor Sav Dhaliwal, who will chair tonight's meeting.

"Before they get too far down the road and think they can do business in Burnaby, they should be familiar what the minimum requirements before we will issue a business license," said Dhaliwal.

Vancouver ban still in place

Uber has challenged traditional taxi services by allowing anyone over 21 years of age with a suitable car and clean driver's licence to sign up as a driver with its online service. Customers then use the smartphone app to call for a ride.

The service was barred from picking up rides in Vancouver three years ago after it refused to comply with an order from the provincial Passenger Transportation Board to get a limousine licence and charge a minimum $75 per trip.

But Uber is still on the radar in Vancouver. Next week, city council will review a staff report on expanding taxi service in which Uber is listed as a stakeholder.

"As far as I'm aware of, Uber has not made a decision to launch here and they've been told by the Transportation Ministry, by Minister Todd Stone, that they will have to go through the Passenger Transportation Board regulatory process," said Vancouver City Councillor Geoff Meggs.

"Certainly they're a factor in everyone's thinking, but I'm not sure what their plans are."

Uber still faces opposition from the taxi industry. Last fall, the four taxi companies that operate in Vancouver launched a lawsuit against the company in an attempt to stop it from returning to Vancouver.

​​The B.C. Taxi Association will make its case against Uber at tonight's meeting in Burnaby. 

To hear the full interview with Burnaby City Councillor Sav Dhaliwal, click the audio labelled: Burnaby eyes Uber ride-sharing service.