Sav Dhaliwal, Board Chair of Metro Vancouver Regional District and Burnaby Councillor, supports Hurley’s stand
BURNABY Mayor Mike Hurley is also writing to Premier John Horgan to stress the need for limiting ridesharing licences in order to avoid congestion and pollution in Metro Vancouver, sources told The VOICE on Wednesday morning. They said that the letter had been drafted.
Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart is also expected to write a similar letter to the Premier. The VOICE was informed by his office on Thursday that all the facts regarding ridesharing were being put together for him to consider.
Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum had on Monday issued a statement against introduction of ride-hailing. He said that he was “also not in favour of allowing unlimited fleet size for ride-hailing companies,” adding that “this lack of regulation will negatively impact the environment and increase congestion.”
Meanwhile, Sav Dhaliwal, who is the Board Chair of Metro Vancouver Regional District and has been a Councillor in Burnaby since 2002, when contacted by The VOICE said that he was completely in support of Hurley writing to the Premier on the issue of unlimited number of licences to ride-hailing.
He pointed out that though at the Metro level, their direct services do not have anything to do with transportation as much because mostly it’s a TransLink issue, but in terms of one of the things that they do have a direct responsibility for is the air quality in the region.
He said that anytime you have a whole lot of congestion with lots of vehicles travelling back and forth, that indirectly has Metro’s concern. “But our jurisdiction is really not in terms of the number of vehicles, but rather the air quality,” he noted.
He added: “And I certainly am very concerned about that when you have thousands of more vehicles clogging up the streets that are really searching for fares back and forth.” He pointed out that unlimited ridesharing would actually encourage people not to use buses and the SkyTrain. This would go against Metro’s aim to create a region which is a very livable region.
He said: “We are trying to strive for having clean water and clean air and generally support families that can walk around the city and not worry that there is pollution out there.”
But Dhaliwal stressed that though he was personally very concerned about there being no limit for licences for ridesharing, officially, Metro’s climate action committee would have to review the situation and then recommend what position to take on this issue to the Board so hat they could have an official policy. Until then, he could not issue any official statement on this.
The climate action committee usually has a robust discussion on the issue supported by facts. Their staff will have a look at what has happened in other cities and how they have taken measures to either stop or decrease congestion.
Dhaliwal added: “We also believe that people need to be able to travel when the need is there so that they are not standing there waiting for a long time. We recognize that some numbers are needed and there is a gap in service. But what are those numbers and what kind of capping should be introduced … I don’t know what those numbers would be before someone takes a look at it. Officially from Metro there is no policy at this point in time and we certainly need to have a thorough analysis of the situation before making an official statement.”