(Black Press file photo) (Black Press file photo).

Taxi companies ask B.C. court to stay ride-hailing approval pending judicial review

Lawyer says passenger transportation board didn’t adequately consider economic impact for cab drivers

A lawyer for the Vancouver Taxi Association says an uneven playing field was used by an independent board in B.C. to allow the operation of ride-hailing companies.

David Penner wants the B.C. Supreme Court to stay approvals granted by the Passenger Transportation Board to Uber and Lyft to operate in Metro Vancouver pending a judicial review of those decisions.

He argued in court on Tuesday that the board failed to adequately consider the economic impact of the decision and didn’t give the taxi companies the opportunity for a meaningful response.

Lawyers for Uber and the board have yet to respond in court.

Uber and Lyft drivers hit the road almost two weeks ago, following the long-awaited approval on Jan. 23 of their licences by the board.

Penner argues there will be significant or irreparable harm caused to taxi drivers if the ride-hailing companies are allowed to continue picking up passengers before dates can be set for the judicial review, which could take months.

It is contrary to the public interest to allow an unlimited number of ride-hailing vehicles on the road with unregulated prices when the taxi industry faces limits to its fleet size, operating areas and prices set by the board.

“So the taxi companies, in so far as they are set to compete with Uber and Lyft, are competing on an uneven playing field,” Penner told the court.

“And there is not the ability for taxi companies in this process to challenge whether or not the Uber and Lyft business models are viable.”

The taxi companies were granted two weeks to submit responses to thousands of pages of documents, many of which were redacted, and there were no oral hearings or opportunities for cross-examination, he said.

READ MORE: Surrey bylaw’s tactics with Uber drivers deemed ‘entrapment’ and ‘completely wrong’

Uber and Lyft rely on business models that involve operating on significant losses until they “destroy” their competition, and there’s no guarantee of a healthy passenger transportation industry beyond that, Penner argued.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Uber

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

Just Posted

Increased child care hours for Penticton’s essential service workers

Child care now available on weekends, early mornings and evenings to address community need

COVID-19: Dairy association wants Okanagan-Shuswap milk supply to flow smoothly

Changes to consumer demand from pandemic have left thousands of litres of B.C. milk being dumped

4 inmates at Okanagan Correctional Centre granted early release due to COVID-19

The move, which impacts offenders serving intermittent sentences, is to prevent spread of virus

Canadian police to make home visits to enforce mandatory quarantine for travellers

Police forces have been asked to help verify Canadians are complying with the Quarantine Act

Keremeos paramedics offering support to patients in quarantine

Dressed in PPE they are able to deliver essential goods, like medicine, to those in need.

VIDEO: Easter festivities may be scaled back, but it can still be a fun holiday

COVID-19 circumstances have dictated that the holidays may not be perfect

WATCH: car goes up in flames north of Vernon

First-hand witness believes driver was involved in a hit and run prior to the incident

Gratitude parade offers thanks and support to Salmon Arm’s essential workers

Outing organized by Shuswap’s Dr’Agonize dragon boat team

Accused’s house arrest conditions no different than what residents self-isolating face: Kamloops judge

A Kamloops woman’s strict house arrest terms are no more onerous than self-isolation experienced by many, judge said

Princeton woman sits out pandemic in ‘cheese heaven’

‘We are surrounded here by fruit orchards and the blossom are starting.’

Okanagan drive-in movie theatre plans to open amid COVID-19

Enderby theatre making a number of operational changes to further enable social distancing

B.C. artist erects 15-foot statue and names it COVID

Decades of collecting spare parts culminated in folk art towering over a country road

Hitchcock classic a parable for our times

‘You fools, stop thinking of yourselves, think of the boat’

Most Read