STATEMENT | Delta Chamber Pleased Delta is Ready To Welcome Ride-Hailing Services & Looks Forward to Service Expansion
On Thursday, January 23, 2020, the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) approved the Uber and Lyft applications to operate in the Lower Mainland and Whistler. While this approval covers operations across the Lower Mainland and in Whistler it will not immediately cover this entire area.
Lyft’s initial service area includes the Vancouver International Airport, the Pacific National Exhibition and the City of Vancouver core. Uber’s initial offering includes a core area surrounding Vancouver – including North Delta and Ladner, but excluding Tsawwassen, Tsawwassen First Nation, and the BC Ferries Tsawwassen terminal. Uber riders are currently able to be dropped off in these locations, however the app will not allow for pick-ups.
The City of Delta has an existing business licensing process in place for ride-hailing companies, like Lyft and Uber, with a base annual business license fee of $110 plus $25 per car; with a cap per company of $1,500, which is consistent with the business license fees paid by taxis that operate in Delta. In December 2019 Delta’s Mayor, George Harvie, explained in a press release on the topic that the City has “established a simple and reasonable business licensing system for ride-hailing to ensure that we are treating ride-hailing companies and taxis fairly while allowing our residents to access improved transportation services. We look forward to ride-hailing companies operating in Delta as soon as the Province allows them to.”
With the PTB’s approval for the two ride-hailing options to operate in the area, and the City of Delta prepared to facilitate their business licensing, local businesses and residents located in Delta and Tsawwassen First Nation, but outside of the service areas, are keen to have the service expand further and have expressed disappointment that it wasn’t part of the initial offering.
In a Delta Optimist article on the topic, Delta City Councillor Dylan Kruger is quoted as saying that “While I am excited that ride sharing companies like Uber will be operating in some parts of Delta, I am extremely disappointed to learn that Tsawwassen and Tsawwassen First Nation will be excluded entirely from Uber’s service area. Obviously that is really disappointing for all those drivers who have been waiting eight years to get ride sharing and now they have to wait even longer.”
The Optimist went on to explain that “Kruger said he spoke directly with Uber representatives on Thursday night who told him they tried their best, but the provincial regulations and framework that has been put in place has simply made it unviable, specifically the Class 4 Drivers’ License requirements.”
Responding to the news of the PTB decision and the ride-hailing service area, Delta Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Garry Shearer remarked that “The Delta Chamber of Commerce is pleased with the news that the Lyft and Uber applications were approved to operate in the Lower Mainland. Delta needs additional, expanded public transit options, and an implemented solution to the George Massey crossing. Transportation is a critical issue for our member businesses, for the business community at large, and for all residents of Delta. We look forward to the expansion of ridesharing services to include the whole of the City of Delta and Tsawwassen First Nation Lands.”
To read the Passenger Transportation Board press release, visit https://www.ptboard.bc.ca/documents/2020-01-23_board_press-release_additional_ridehail_decisions.pdf
To read the City of Delta’s statement on ride-hailing, visit http://www.delta.ca/your-government/news-events/news-releases/2019/12/05/city-of-delta-ready-for-ride-hailing
To read the Delta Optimist article on ride-hailing referenced, visit https://www.delta-optimist.com/news/ridesharing-arrives-but-not-in-all-parts-of-delta-1.24060559