New analysis reveals why it’s so hard to catch a cab in Vancouver

By Marina Wang

Almost anyone that’s been out for a late night in downtown Vancouver has found themselves in a predicament: calling a cab is pricey, not to mention difficult, while the bus journey, if possible, is long and grueling. Uber is not an option. You’re essentially stuck.

A new report from Hara Associates  prepared for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has shed light on why hailing a cab in Vancouver is so difficult and proposed methods of modernizing the Vancouver taxi system. It arrives at time when roll-out of ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft has been delayed until the end of 2019.

“At the heart of consumer and business concerns over BC taxi service is supply,” reads the report. “Non-industry stakeholders stated clearly that they want more and better vehicle-for-hire service.”

The report highlighted the application process for new cab carriers as a “barrier for entry”. BC does not limit the number of taxis on the road, but prospective for-hire services are required to prove the need for a new service to the Passenger Transportation Board. This is compounded by competitors being able to argue that enough cabs are in service, and there is no need for a new taxi service.

In addition, a slew of jurisdictional regulations make operating cabs difficult: in metro Vancouver, pickups are largely only permitted by local Vancouver companies, and any driver that wishes to pick up passengers from the airport need multiple chauffeur permits from different municipalities. Cab companies also require drivers to have a Class 4 license—something that can take new immigrants three years to obtain.

The report also highlighted cab access for disabled passengers as an issue, as well as service in First Nations and some rural communities.

Recommended changes include throwing out the Class 4 license requirement, developing a usage-based insurance for part-time drivers, having a new framework to fund accessible taxi services, allowing companies to discount rates under certain conditions and having the provincial authority oversee chauffeur permits.

4 Responses to New analysis reveals why it’s so hard to catch a cab in Vancouver

  1. nonconfidencevote says:

    How about if we start by eradicating the “regionalization” of cab licenses?

    The cab companies say there is no need for more licenses……. Well gee whiz. They dont want competition cutting into their profits….there’s a big fat surprise.
    The quick , easy, inexpensive solution?
    Time to allow ALL cabs from every Lower Mainland municipality drop off AND pick up in every municipality.
    That way. When Burnaby, New West, North Van, etc. are quiet on a Friday or Saturday night and people in Downtown Vancouver are waiting for 2 HOURS for a fucking cab because Skytrain shuts down too early and doesnt go to every municipality….the out lying cab companies can fill the void???????

    Why does it take YEARS of studies to realize this?
    This was a problem 30 – 40 YEARS ago in downtown Vancouver and we’ve DOUBLED the Lower Mainland population since then.
    And the province is going to allow 300 more licenses in the Lowermainland….
    Where in the F##K did they come up with that number? Or did they tell the cab companies that they had to appear to be doing “something” to appease OUTRAGED VOTERS so they hand out the least amount of licenses to hurt the existing cabbies profit margins……

    Perhaps the hundreds of thousands of dollars cab owners donate to the election funds of the NDP and the Liberals has something to do with it?

    Awesome, a few thousand greedy cabbie owners get to screw over the millions of voters for another year(or two or ten years). Because if a cabbie with a license in New West ( cost of license $300k?) gets to pick up in downtown Van ….what do you think will happen to the price of a Vancouver Cab license(current cost of license $900k?).
    The province issues the licenses and if they really want to be fair.
    They should remove the regionalization and refund cabbies for the difference in the loss of the value of their licenses.

    We see ICBC ads for drunk drivers. We have Skytrain shutting down too early for most people out for the evening in downtown Van and we have non existent cabs……

    So my suggestion is drive drunk because skytrain and cabs arent going to help you get home. And if you crash and hurt yourself or kill someone….ICBC ( aka THE TAXPAYERS) will ultimately pick up the tab…..

    The govt hand wringing and endless expensive, useless studies once again prove …They really doesnt give a shit about you and me.

    Remember them at the polls.
    Toss them out.
    Start over until someone with an ounce of integrity of testicular fortitude( balls) actually gets elected…..not these self serving, trough snuffling, professional hacks that couldnt make a decision without spending millions on studies that, if recommending the best solution are ignored because…..lobbyists get the final say.

    Toss them out.

    • nonconfidencevote says:

      Or the next best. most immediate solution…… unenforced illegal “Uber” cabs that crush the Luddite taxi industry….. kind of like whats happening now……..
      “Lets have another “study” where some NDP hack can charge millions to “look at the alternatives”.
      Grow a spine Horgan.
      Make a real decision…. not the bullshit you had your underlings shovel on us while you were hiding out of town at the Premiers conference…..

      Horgan another in a long line of gutless, professional trough gorging money pigs without an ounce of integrity.
      And if you think the self serving pricks in the Liberal Party dont see that this is an issue that will never go away……think again.

  2. nonconfidencevote says:

    And speaking of trough snuffling pigs.
    I see that a senior member of the City of Vancouver planning/building dept. has vacated(retired) his $296,000 per year position to immediately go work for the Aquilini Group……The same company that was under his jurisdiction while he was at the City of Van…….
    Optics? Pass the smell test?
    Nah.
    Who cares. No laws broken.
    Just another trough snuffling member of govt….at your service.
    Here’s a thought.
    Time to implement a 2 year “cooling off” period before members of govt can go to work for the very same people or companies they were “enforcing”?
    Or will the scenario of a newly retired Lower Mainland police Captain immediately becoming a “legal advisor” for the Hells Angels be the final straw?

    • nonconfidencevote says:

      And that raises another question.
      How, in anyones right mind does a senior municipal worker deserve $296,000 per year?
      Jesus H Christ! $296,000 in the private sector would get the president of an international company worth billions.
      Nope. $296k per year for a pencil pushing, koolaid drinking, politically correct spouting, endless meetings attending….civil servant who when retiring ….gets a gold plated, taxpayer funded and taxpayer guaranteed pension.
      Brought to you by Vancouver Shitty Hall when Gregor promised to “end homelessness”…
      and now? Eight years later? Homelessness is worse. Gregors exwife lives in Point Grey on what he essentially legislated as a private road, overdose deaths are at record levels, and housing is still unaffordable, rentals are nonexistant, making homelessness even worse than ever before……. and Gregor’s quitting….to be hired by who? The Aquilini Group? Or his chinese girlfriend’s inlaws in China?
      Gregor the Dim needs all the help he can get. Possible Momma-in-Law is in jail in China and things arent looking good.

      Remember these lying scum at the polls in Nov. people and give them everything they deserve

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