Uber vows to keep Surrey service going despite mayor's threats

Marco Green
January 27, 2020

Despite the letter, Uber cars can still be seen roaming the streets in Surrey after the deadline.

Surrey had a council meeting scheduled for Monday night, and Hundial said that while ridesharing wasn't on the agenda, it would likely be discussed.

When he told her that he was, two uniformed City of Surrey bylaw officers approached from the other side of the vehicle and told him that he was operating without a business licence.

"I don't see how the city would be able to enforce it", he said.

CTV News has reached out to the City of Surrey and to Uber's Western Canada representative, Michael van Hemmen. He said the city is capable of issuing licences to businesses quickly or providing a grace period.

Surrey Mayor McCallum disagrees, believing the ride-share service would be damaging to the city's taxi services.

"I was excited this morning".

In a statement issued by Uber, the company wrote that "Surrey has requested that Uber pause operations, but we respectfully decline".

"We have been overwhelmed by the support from people across Metro Vancouver", he said. "No other city is taking this approach".

In a statement released to NEWS1130, Uber says, "The Passenger Transportation Board and provincial government have given Uber all the necessary permits to permit Uber to continue operating in Metro Vancouver and in the city of Surrey".

Under the province's Transportation Network Services (TNS) regulations, cities can set the requirements for a business licence, but cannot stop companies from operating within the region if they've won a licence from the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB).

"Cab drivers live in Surrey and the modest wages they earn go to support their families", the mayor said, before drawing a line in the sand at city hall.

"Our legislation makes it quite clear that they can not", says Horgan.

Surrey businesses can be subject to a $500 fine if they do not have an operating licence, Hundial said.

They then gave him a warning notice, which says he's in violation of Surrey's business licence bylaw: "No person will carry on business in the city without holding a valid and subsisting licence".

"Until a decision is made on this regard, ride-hailing companies are precluded from operating within Surrey's boundaries", he said. "I will not be supporting the issuing of ride-hailing business licences".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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