(Black Press file photo) (Black Press file photo).

Taxi companies ask B.C. court to stay ride-hailing approval pending judicial review

Lawyer says passenger transportation board didn’t adequately consider economic impact for cab drivers

A lawyer for the Vancouver Taxi Association says an uneven playing field was used by an independent board in B.C. to allow the operation of ride-hailing companies.

David Penner wants the B.C. Supreme Court to stay approvals granted by the Passenger Transportation Board to Uber and Lyft to operate in Metro Vancouver pending a judicial review of those decisions.

He argued in court on Tuesday that the board failed to adequately consider the economic impact of the decision and didn’t give the taxi companies the opportunity for a meaningful response.

Lawyers for Uber and the board have yet to respond in court.

Uber and Lyft drivers hit the road almost two weeks ago, following the long-awaited approval on Jan. 23 of their licences by the board.

Penner argues there will be significant or irreparable harm caused to taxi drivers if the ride-hailing companies are allowed to continue picking up passengers before dates can be set for the judicial review, which could take months.

It is contrary to the public interest to allow an unlimited number of ride-hailing vehicles on the road with unregulated prices when the taxi industry faces limits to its fleet size, operating areas and prices set by the board.

“So the taxi companies, in so far as they are set to compete with Uber and Lyft, are competing on an uneven playing field,” Penner told the court.

“And there is not the ability for taxi companies in this process to challenge whether or not the Uber and Lyft business models are viable.”

The taxi companies were granted two weeks to submit responses to thousands of pages of documents, many of which were redacted, and there were no oral hearings or opportunities for cross-examination, he said.

READ MORE: Surrey bylaw’s tactics with Uber drivers deemed ‘entrapment’ and ‘completely wrong’

Uber and Lyft rely on business models that involve operating on significant losses until they “destroy” their competition, and there’s no guarantee of a healthy passenger transportation industry beyond that, Penner argued.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Uber

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

White Rock cadets nab medals at Vernon competition

Thirteen members of 907 Squadron compete at regional meet

‘A bag full of garbage every 15 metres’: Surrey industrial area filled with trash

Local workers looking to recruit business, raise funds to help dispose of litter

Girls, women try their hand at marine rescue in Surrey

Achieve Anything Foundation, RCMSAR Crescent Beach host ‘Operation: This IS You! Saving Lives at Sea’

Surrey boy living with congenital heart disease to speak at local Tedx event

Mason Vander Ploeg will be speaking on saving the oceans

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Winds up to 70 km/hr expected across Metro Vancouver

Winds are expected to subside overnight

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Fraser Health warns some schools of possible COVID-19 exposure

A sixth COVID-19 patient is a woman in her 30s in the Fraser Health region who recently returned from Iran

High-risk sex offender cuts off ankle bracelet, on the loose in Vancouver: police

Vancouver police said Kirstjon Olson, 38, is a provincial sex offender with 27 court-ordered conditions

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Most Read