Excerpts from an article in CityLab by Laura Bliss, September 17, 2019
Some “53 percent of Vancouverites manage to get to work by means other than driving. One thing is conspicuously missing from this urbanist dreamscape: ride-hailing: Uber. Uber tried to railroad its way into Vancouver in 2012, but British Columbia regulators notified the company that the province’s official minimum rate for limousines was $75 per trip.
“Ever since, Uber, Lyft, and other transportation network companies (TNCs) have been snowed out of the region. Vancouver appears to be the last major city in North America with an effective ban on the app-based services.
“But those days are numbered. Applications to operate a TNC in British Columbia opened on September 3, and a requisite insurance package became available on September 16. Uber and Lyft have officially applied.
“In contrast with U.S. cities that have rushed to be first to the table with new mobility offerings — be they autonomous cars, hyperloops, or drones — Vancouver may prove that it pays to be last.
“Over the years, Vancouver has watched as its peers have dealt with the darker sides of Uber and Lyft: muddy passenger safety records, negative impacts on congestion and emissions, flouting of local regulations, and widely criticized labor practices.
“Now B.C. transportation leaders are cautiously optimistic that being a last-adopter will prove to be a virtue. They hope that strict data-sharing requirements, a stringent licensing scheme for drivers, and a long-term vision to mitigate added traffic with fees on curbside access and downtown streets at rush hour will help make ride-hailing more sustainable here.”