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Tri-Cities use regional ride-hailing licence, Metro Vancouver should follow suit: PoCo mayor

Last Updated Nov 26, 2019 at 7:37 pm PDT

FILE: In this Jan. 31, 2018, file photo, a Lyft logo is installed on a Lyft driver's car next to an Uber sticker in Pittsburgh. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Gene J. Puskar, File

Tri-Cities are using a new single licensing process for ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft

Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West says there should be a single licencing process for all of Metro Vancouver

Tri-Cities will charge 10 cents for every pick up, but accessible or low-emission cars are exempted

PORT COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) – The Tri-Cities are banding together to approve ride-hailing services in a way which might make it easier to order an Uber or Lyft anywhere in Metro Vancouver.

Port Coquitlam council has voted in favour of a single business licence for Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam and Port Moody. There won’t be a per-car fee like Vancouver’s new $100 levy, but every ride pick up will include a ten cent charge. All accessible and low emission cars will be exempted.

Mayor Brad West hopes one system can serve all 21 communities in Metro Vancouver, but until that happens, he says people in Port Coquitlam have made it clear they’re tired of waiting for ride-hailing to be a reality.

“They want the service. It’s desperately needed in a place like Port Coquitlam that doesn’t have SkyTrain,” he says.

Surrey mayor Doug McCallum has threatened to do whatever he can to protect the existing taxi industry, but West is pushing for a more inclusive approach.

“The best way to ensure that happens is by us all cooperating rather than having 21 different fees and 21 different rules,” he says.

West admits it may be too late to get everything in place for services to be available before Christmas.

“The ball then goes into Uber and Lyft’s court to be able to have the drivers ready to go and on the road. We’ve done our part. We’ve done it in a way that is responsible, cuts red tape and ensures that the service can actually operate,” he says.

West says the only other city in the region to set up licensing is Vancouver.