Last week, Vancouver’s city council voted not to allow Uber to operate in Vancouver. That may not be the end of the story, as they also voted on a recommendation to urge the Ministry of Transportation to become more active in dealing with ride-sharing technology:
Council unanimously voted for staff’s recommendation to urge the Ministry of Transportation to get more active in policy-making around ride-sharing technology. Council declined to permit Uber within the city’s limited licensing regime. From the taxi-industry point of view the city has no legal authority to host Uber anyway, after Transportation Minister Todd Stone’s stern warning a year ago.
This comes on the heals of several high profile incidents involving Uber in other cities in Canada. A recent anti-Uber protest by taxi drivers in Toronto escalated and led to a taxi driver being dragged down the street as a Uber driver attempted to escape this taxi driver, as the driver attacked his vehicle:
Protests in Toronto continue, as cab drivers surround city hall and obstruct traffic in the downtown core. The City of Toronto, however, seems firm in its stance that it will not be banning Uber:
Meanwhile in Alberta, both Edmonton and Calgary seem on the verge of creating licensing schemes, which will allow Uber drivers to operate legally within those cities. Uber drivers continue to operate illegally in both Edmonton and Calgary while their respective city councils scramble to pass legislation to deal with the situation. Edmonton’s city council looks primed to introduce a licensing fee of $920/year, which Uber claims is likely to drive them out of business:
Meanwhile in Montreal, Uber remains illegal, but operates anyways. The city has enforced anti-Uber laws, but sparingly. Despite many vehicle seizures, the ride-sharing App remains totally operational:
Despite the above noted issues, it appears as though Toronto, Edmonton, and Calgary will all eventually allow Uber to operate legally. This leaves “progressive” Vancouver as a city that is falling behind. This seems at odds with Vancouver’s commitment to remove cars from high congestion areas and provide alternate transportation to its citizens.