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Surrey mayor promises $500 fines for Uber drivers picking up in city

Last Updated Jan 27, 2020 at 7:42 pm PDT


Doug McCallum says a business license is required for ride-hailing companies, and one hasn't been issued for Surrey

18 warning tickets were issued to Uber drivers for operating in Surrey over the weekend

McCallum says fines will continue if Uber keeps operating

SURREY (NEWS 1130) — Surrey’s mayor maintains ride-hailing is operating illegally and fines will continue if Uber drivers are caught in the city.

Doug McCallum says a business licence is required for ride-hailing companies, and one hasn’t been issued for Surrey.

This comes after Uber was issued a warning to stop operations by the city, though the company said it had all the necessary licences. Then over the weekend, an Uber driver was issued a ticket for operating without a business licence.

RELATED: Surrey councillors slam move to issue warnings to ride-hailing drivers

McCallum says this was a grace period for Uber and the warning tickets were issued for non-compliance.

“I felt that was only fair to give them an opportunity to comply. I heard some individual drivers have chosen to do so. For those who continue to operate in Surrey, there will no longer be warning tickets and any violators caught will be ticketed and will face a fine of $500.”

Eighteen warnings were given out in Surrey over the weekend and McCallum says only Uber as a company has been fined.

Despite the warnings, he says he supports ride-hailing, but it has to be on a level playing field with the taxi industry.

“In Surrey, a large number of our residents work in the taxi industry and their paycheques go directly to support their families,” McCallum says, adding he is protecting their livelihood.

However, a statement from the Ministry of Transportation says municipalities can set requirements for business licences for ride-hailing companies, but can’t stop their operations.

“Provincial law is clear, no municipality has the authority to block the operation of ride-hailing services,” it reads. “The absence of a bylaw or business licence in specific municipalities related to ride-hailing is not grounds for refusal of the service.”

McCallum argues Uber has an unfair advantage over taxis because of differences like lower fees and required driving experience.