Categories: Home2News

Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Several Metro Vancouver taxi companies have lost a court bid to quash the approvals of ride-hailing operators Uber and Lyft in British Columbia.

Nine cab companies filed a petition asking the B.C. Supreme Court to overturn the decisions of the provincial Passenger Transportation Board that allowed the two major ride-hailing providers to operate.

The cab companies argued that the board’s decisions were “patently unreasonable,” because they allowed Uber and Lyft an unlimited fleet size while the number of taxis is capped.

The companies, including Yellow Cab and Black Top Cabs, claimed that the board failed to consider whether there was a public need for an unlimited number of ride-hailing cars in the province.

The board also did not consider whether granting unlimited licences to Uber and Lyft would promote “sound economic conditions” in the passenger transportation business in B.C., the cab companies argued.

The cab companies said that the board had extensive evidence before it describing the economic harm suffered by taxi operators in other jurisdictions as a result of allowing unlimited ride-hailing.

However, Justice Sandra Wilkinson said in a written ruling this week that the board carefully considered fleet size and decided not to limit ride-hailing cars at this time, but left the issue open for future review.

“In each of the decisions, the board devotes numerous paragraphs to discussing whether an indeterminate fleet size will promote sound economic conditions in the passenger transportation industry,” she wrote in the decision dated Jan. 20.

“This is not a deferral of a decision or a failure to consider the issue of fleet size. I would go so far as to say that the board made a very common sense decision in the circumstances.”

The board’s decisions were made one year ago, on Jan. 23, 2020.

Wilkinson added there is nothing in the board’s decisions that is “obviously untenable” or “clearly irrational,” and therefore they cannot be considered “patently unreasonable.”

She dismissed the petition and granted costs to Uber and Lyft.

The B.C. Taxi Association, Yellow Cab and Black Top Cabs did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the ruling.

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself.

“Uber is excited to be celebrating one year in Metro Vancouver this weekend, and looks forward to making the app available in more communities in 2021,” it said.

VIDEO: Uber, Lyft approved for ride-hailing in Lower Mainland

Lyft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The arrival of ride-hailing in Metro Vancouver early last year, long after it was already common in many other Canadian cities, was contentious.

The provincial government has said it spent two years developing legislation and regulations in advance of ride-hailing licences being approved by the Passenger Transportation Board.

Laura Dhillon Kane, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

The Canadian Press

Leave a Comment
Share
Published by
The Canadian Press

Recent Posts

A call for kindness

EDITORIAL: Sadly, there is a lot of hate going around in these dark COVID-exhausted days

1 hour ago

Kelowna man charged for threatening to release naked video of daughter

Kelowna man charged with extortion will get the final verdict on Monday

3 hours ago

Interior Health COVID-19 cases second highest in B.C., 2 days in a row

New cases just under those of Fraser Health, as reported Thursday and Friday

3 hours ago

9 deaths, 2,137 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday

B.C. has recorded 2,137 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and nine more deaths in the…

3 hours ago

Salmon Arm approves application for $50,000 grant to help reduce stigma of poverty

Awareness campaign seen as key step to help community members better understand impacts of poverty

3 hours ago

Sicamous Eagles forward Alex Smith is finding the back of the net this season

Smith’s scoring prowess was recently recognized by the KIJHL

3 hours ago