British Columbia

'I do not support ride-hailing': Surrey mayor warns of effect on taxi industry

In an open letter to B.C. Premier John Horgan, Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum criticized new provincial regulations for ride-hailing operators saying they will create an unlevel playing field for the province's taxi industry.

Doug McCallum criticizes B.C.'s new regulations for ride-hailing operators in open letter to premier

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum says ride hailing regulations create an unlevel playing field with the taxi industry. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

In an open letter to the premier, Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum criticized new provincial regulations for ride-hailing operators saying they will create an unlevel playing field for the province's taxi industry.

"I do not support ride-hailing," McCallum wrote to Premier John Horgan.

"This lack of regulation will negatively impact the environment and increase congestion. It will also negatively impact the existing taxi industry that has loyally served Metro Vancouver's residents for decades," wrote McCallum.

The Passenger Transportation Board announced on Aug. 19 there will be no initial limits on fleet size for ride hailing companies, but a cap could be imposed later if congestion becomes an issue.

Ride-hailing companies will also have larger operating areas, unlike Lower Mainland taxi companies, which have geographic restrictions on which passengers they can serve based on which municipality they belong to. 

"These new regulations would allow ride-hailing companies the ability to pick up across boundaries, while the taxi industry must abide by limits," wrote McCallum.

McCallum's comments echo arguments from the taxi industry. The Vancouver Taxi Association said last week the new rules were not in the public interest.

Surrey Coun. Linda Annis spoke out against the mayor's stance on Wednesday.

"Frankly, the best thing governments can do in this industry is get out of the way, rather than regulating things well past the point of common sense. Just ask anyone who's been stranded waiting for a taxi or who has been refused a cab late at night," Annis wrote in a statement.

"The public are so far ahead of government on this issue because common sense says we should have had ride hailing years ago, just like the rest of the world," she continued.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth has said he supports limits on ride-hailing. 

Ride hailing legislation will come into effect Sept. 3, when the Passenger Transportation Board will begin accepting applications.

With files from Roshini Nair

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now