Taxi companies in Vancouver have filed a lawsuit against rideshare service company Uber Canada and its drivers.
The Vancouver Taxi Association alleges that Uber plans to operate illegally in the city, saying the service does not intend to obtain the proper licences from the Passenger Transportation Board or the City of Vancouver.
“Uber wants to ignore these regulations to obtain an unfair competitive advantage over the Vancouver taxi companies, who have licences from the Passenger Transportation Board and the City and are complying with the existing regulations,” the Vancouver Taxi Association alleged in a November 4 release.
The taxi companies say they are also seeking an injunction to prevent the rideshare services from operating until they comply with the regulations.
NDP leader John Horgan and Transportation Minster Todd Stone have both reinforced that Uber will need to comply with the law before it can operate. Stone said undercover officers will be used to catch anyone providing the service without a licence. Drivers caught operating illegally will face significant fines, he said.
In a statement in response to the lawsuit, Uber said it wants to clarify that it is not currently operating in the city.
“This lawsuit is a prime example of the Vancouver taxi industry’s singular goal: protecting its own cartel, even at the expense of consumers and its own drivers,” the company said.
“Moving beyond their typical tactics of threatening drivers, paying politicians thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, and lobbying regulators for special protections, the Vancouver taxi industry is now venturing into unchartered territory by suing a business that doesn’t even exist in the market yet.
Uber operated in the city, which it calls Vancuber on its blog, briefly in 2012, but was forced to discontinue after it was determined that it was functioning as a limo service and therefore had to comply with limo rules, which include charging a minimum of $75 per ride. The service currently operates in Toronto, Montreal and Halifax, as well as several cities in the United States and around the world.
Source: Business In Vancouver