(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

Greenwood candidates meet at MacArthur Centre

Forum was live-streamed on Facebook, but sound problems quickly set in

Education ministry’s COVID plan could do more for SD51, says teachers’ union president

There have been no confirmed COVID cases two weeks into school year

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

To build or not to build: Grand Forks community centre to go to city, district referendum

Plans to build a community centre have been in the works since 2018

Russell selected as B.C. NDP candidate for Boundary-Similkameen

The director for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary was chosen over Oliver councillor Grice.

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Most Read