An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

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

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

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.

Lyftride hailingtaxiUber

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The Majagaleehl Gali Aks Elementary School in Hazelton is being shut down for a week by the Gitanmaax Band Council following a confirmation of a COVID-19 exposure there on Feb. 26. (Black Press Media File Photo)
COVID-19 exposure notice shuts down Hazelton school

Closure to last for one week and school is to be sanitized

MacCarthy GM staff and customers raised $700 for Pink Shirt Day. (Submitted Photo/Mudit Mehta)
Terrace dealership raises hundreds of dollars for Pink Shirt Day

MacCarthy GM staff and customers raised $700 for anti-bullying initiatives

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

A housing location for workers on the new Mills Memorial Hospital construction project has been approved by city council. (File photo)
Camp spot proposed for hospital construction workers

As many as 350 outside workers may be needed

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

Most Read