Yellow Cab is one of nine companies challenging new ride-hailing rules in B.C. (Wikimedia Commons)

Yellow Cab is one of nine companies challenging new ride-hailing rules in B.C. (Wikimedia Commons)

Nine Vancouver-area taxi companies ask B.C. Supreme Court to quash ride-hailing rules

Fleet size and lack of consultation are at the heart of the issue

A group of Metro Vancouver taxi companies is asking the B.C. Supreme Court to strike down new regulations for ride-hailing in the province.

In a petition filed Wednesday at the Supreme Court of B.C. in Vancouver, nine taxi companies claim the BC Passenger Transportation Board rules on ride-hailing will have an “extremely harmful impact” on their industry. The claim points to other jurisdiction that have “suffered significant financial losses because of the virtually unrestrained competition” from ride-hailing companies.

The petition states that the current rules for ride-hailing, which include no limits on fleet sizes, would “enable [ride-hailing companies] to compete against taxi companies for passengers without having to comply with the same rules and requirements that have been and continue to be imposed on taxis.”

While fleet size seems to be at the heart of the lawsuit, the taxi companies also point to costs they incur that ride-hailing companies will not. This includes mandatory cameras in taxis, a requirement to accommodate for disabled passengers, operating dispatch centres and coupons that give discounted rides to seniors and the disabled. They also claim that by imposing the same minimum pricing for ride-hailing as for taxis, it allows the new companies to undercut the existing market.

The claim argues there was no reason given by the board for why the rules are not the same as for taxis “other than it does not fit the business model of Uber and Lyft.”

The taxi companies are asking the B.C. Supreme Court to quash the ride-hailing rules established by the board this August or order the board to re-do the rules with greater input from them.

The Passenger Transportation Board has not yet issued a response. It has 21 days to file one.

READ MORE: B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

READ MORE: Transportation minister outlines ‘widespread concerns’ about ride-hailing in B.C.


@katslepian

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