Vancouver continues to be the city that has stayed clear of the Uber problem. The city is the largest in North America to have successfully stopped Uber from entering its market illegally. However, the conversation has since changed from how to block Uber and ride-sharing companies and is now how can cities adopt the company.
While Vancouver is now accepting that Uber is likely to come within its limits eventually, the city is continuing to ensure it is on its terms. There will be no illegal Uber expansion in Vancouver it seems and the company will simply have to wait its turn.
The Vancouver city council has taken a decisive vote on the future of Uber and taxi drivers for the next year. The council says there will be no extension of a moratorium to issue no new taxi licenses for at least another year.
That means Vancouver’s streets will not see any more taxis during the next 12 months, and Uber and other ride-sharing firms will be stopped from setting up shop in the city. Consumers may be displeased on both fronts. Customers have generally warmed to Uber in other Canadian cities, while the situation is compounded as they will not be served by more taxis until at least Oct. 2017.
Geoff Meggs of Vision Vancouver says that there is no doubt the city needs more taxi licenses, but until British Columbia completed its review into Uber, there is no point issuing new licenses.
“We all agree more service is warranted. But no one is I think keen to put out new taxi licenses if they’re not going to be economically viable in the face of ride-sharing or any other changes the provinces could impose.”
Uber Canada spokesperson Susie Heath issued a statement following the council’s decision:
“We believe that Vancouverites are clearly underserved and that people deserve access to more reliable transportation options in the city, including more taxis. The City of Vancouver and the provincial government should take action to expand the number of options available, before the busy holiday season.”