Ride-hailing gets green light from City of Vancouver

FOLLOWING closely after the provincial legalization of ride-hailing in BC last month, Vancouver City Council has given the green light for ride-hailing companies to operate in Vancouver.

The City said that the new ride hailing regulations reflect its commitment to regional coordination, passenger safety, increased mobility and accessibility, reduced carbon emissions, and affordability. Together these measures are intended to provide residents access to the advantages of ride-hailing without compromising the City’s commitment to these principles.

Kennedy Stewart Official photo

“I’m looking forward to Vancouver welcoming ride-hailing in a way that minimizes its impacts on traffic congestion, particularly in Vancouver’s metro core,” said Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “In addition, Council has worked hard to set a level playing field for all passenger-directed transportation companies operating in the city.”

To proactively address concerns about increased road congestion, Council has approved the implementation of new congestion and curbside stopping regulations. Between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. ride-hailing services operating in the metro core will require a Congestion and Curbside Management Permit (CCMP) when dropping-off or picking-up at curbs. The fee is 30 cents per each pick-up and drop-off, and will be reduced by 50 per cent for zero emission vehicles. Wheelchair accessible vehicles are exempt from the fee.

“Thanks to Council’s endorsement we can move forward with strategies to ensure that ride-hailing is consistent with our long-term goals as a City to reduce congestion and emissions.” said Lon LaClaire, Director of Transportation for the City of Vancouver. “Using field observations combined with data from taxi and ride-hailing services, we will be closely monitoring the impact of ride-hailing services on Vancouver’s road network.”

In developing these regulations, the City worked with key partners and industry stakeholders such as the Vancouver Taxi Association, ride-hailing companies, ride-hailing proponents, Business Improvement Associations, and Tourism Vancouver. To keep costs fair for all operators in the city, the licensing and vehicles fees for taxis and limousines companies are now set at the same cost as ride-hailing companies.

To operate in Vancouver, ride-hailing companies must have both a Provincial TNS licence from the Passenger Transportation Board and a municipal business licence, which includes a fee per vehicle. Licensing and vehicle fees cover the costs to administer this program and to collect and analyze trip and vehicle data submitted monthly by taxi, limousine and ride-hailing companies. City staff will use the data to audit and evaluate the impact ride-hailing has on transportation in Vancouver and will report back to Council in six months.

“We’ve heard clearly the importance of working with other municipalities to create a regional approach to ride-hailing licensing and we will continue to advance our dialogue with our regional partners,” said Kathryn Holm, Chief Licence Inspector. “Our goal is for all transportation business to have a place to work in our city, as part of our overall regional network.”

Licensing by-law amendments take effect on October 3 with the CCMP in effect on January 6, 2020.

Additional Details

Congestion and curbside management

* Metro Core is the area bounded by Burrard Street, 16th Avenue, Clark Avenue, and the Burrard Inlet.

* At this time, taxis are not required to obtain a curbside permit.

* Council also endorsed a number of additional on-street management measures which include:

–   Increasing the number of passenger pick-up and drop-off zones;

–   Redirecting passengers via ride-hailing mobile apps to designated pick up/drop off zones in high demand areas of the city; and

–   Maintaining existing taxi zones and continuing to allow taxis in bus lanes, subject to further review.

Business licensing

*  The business licence fee for ride-hailing, taxi and limousine businesses is $155 and companies will pay $100 per vehicle, prorated by month.

* Licensing and vehicles fees for taxis and limousines companies are now set at the same cost as ride-hailing companies.

* All wheelchair accessible and zero emission vehicles will be exempt from a per vehicle fee.

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