Opposition is growing to provincially approved ride-hailing, as White Rock, Richmond and at least one Delta councillor have now joined Surrey in raising the alarm about a plan to bring it into B.C.
The province announced that starting Sept. 16, it would allow ride-hailing services such as Lyft and Uber to operate in the province.
The province’s website says municipalities have no authority to withhold permits or disallow ride-hailing in any way.
Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum told a group that he would not give permits to ride-hailing, as it put taxi drivers at a distinct disadvantage for competition.
Taxi drivers are limited to municipalities where they are permitted, but ride-hailing services will be able to serve across the region.
“My opposition to ride-hailing companies comes down to fairness,” McCallum told Pulse FM. “Taxi companies adhere to regulations and restrictions. If ride-hailing companies are allowed to operate with no limits, it would create an unlevel playing field. An unfair market environment would impact the livelihoods of taxi drivers and their families.”
McCallum, it turns out, is not alone in his opposition.
On Sept. 9, Richmond asked the province to address the discrepancies between the rules for taxi drivers and ride-hailing.
And White Rock has also chimed in, voting last Friday to send a letter to the province, asking it to rescind the legislation until proper consultation with municipalities and other stakeholders could take place.
And now, Delta Coun. Lois Jackson has proposed a motion to the Union of B.C. Municipalities asking the province to initiate a “fulsome public consultation process” with cities, regional districts, public transit agencies and disabled persons.
That motion is going before Delta Council Monday night for a vote.
Some councillors have already publicly said they won’t support it, arguing cities have no place to intervene on the issue.
The province has yet to publicly comment on the opposition.