Vancouver taxi companies suing Uber ahead of launch

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Taxi Cab / Shutterstock

The Vancouver Taxi Association is taking its fight over Uber’s plans to operate in the city to court.

The association, which represents the taxi companies in Vancouver, says that it has filed a lawsuit to prevent Uber from starting its smartphone app service that connects drivers with passengers.

It claims Uber has an unfair competitive advantage over taxis as their drivers do not have to comply with government regulations that taxi companies do, which includes the requirement of obtaining the proper licenses.

However, the lawsuit has been submitted even though Uber has yet to launch its services in the city, although there were rumours it would do so by Halloween. The company operates in over 200 cities worldwide and only recently began advertising job openings at its Vancouver office.

“To be 100% clear, Uber does not currently operate in Vancouver. This lawsuit is a prime example of the Vancouver taxi industry’s singular goal: protecting its own cartel, even at the expense of consumers and its own drivers,” reads a statement by Uber.

“Moving beyond their typical tactics of threatening drivers, paying politicians thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, and lobbying regulators for special protections, the Vancouver taxi industry is now venturing into unchartered territory by suing a business that doesn’t even exist in the market yet.”

Last month, the City of Vancouver enacted a six-month moratorium on Uber’s operations in the city. The provincial government also heightened its threats against the service this week by announcing plans to crackdown on “illegal” drivers with a undercover sting program.

But this is not Uber’s first foray into Vancouver. The San Francisco-based company was driven out of the city in 2012 by the provincial government and the local taxi and limousine industry.

 

Feature Image: Natalia Bratslavsky/Shutterstock

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