Mayor looks to put the brakes on ride-sharing

By September 11, 2019Kevin Diakiw, News

Mayor Doug McCallum says he will not issue business licenses to ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. The idea is drawing fire from one of his city councillors.

McCallum reportedly told a group of taxi owners that he would not issue the licences for ride-sharing, which the province has just approved.

McCallum is a critic of how the program is being rolled out, particularly as it leaves the taxi industry on disadvantaged footing. Under the provincial scheme, ride sharing won’t be limited to municipal permit areas, but taxis will.

McCallum unsheathed the one weapon he can use against the plan, which is withholding business permits for ride sharing.

Surrey Coun. Linda Annis said the mayor’s plan is a “ridiculous idea” that doesn’t represent Surrey residents.

The fact that we don’t have enough transit or cabs to start with makes the Mayor’s idea just another poke in the eye to the thousands of Surrey residents who would use Uber and Lyft,” Annis said in a release Tuesday. “It’s time to start catching up with the rest of the world, just ask Surrey residents who have been stranded while waiting for cabs that never show up, or young people trying to get a cab home to Surrey after a Friday night in downtown Vancouver.”

Annis is calling on the provincial government to contact the mayor letting him know ride-sharing is coming, regardless.

Pulse FM requests for comment from the mayor were unanswered at the time of posting.