Vancouver taxi companies drop lawsuit against Uber

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Image: Uber via Shutterstock

Vancouver’s taxi companies have dropped their joint lawsuit against Uber for announcing plans to relaunch their car ride-sharing smartphone app in the city.

The lawsuit was filed in November 2014 by Black Top, Yellow Cab and Vancouver Taxi when Uber announced its intention to relaunch in the market following its first failure in 2013.

As Uber has yet to launch in Vancouver, the taxi companies are backing down with their lawsuit.

“The Vancouver Taxi Companies are thankful to Uber for respecting and abiding by the laws in The Province of British Columbia and The City of Vancouver, just as the Vancouver Taxi Companies have had to do for over 100 years,” reads a statement by the Vancouver Taxi Association.

However, the taxi companies warn that they will refile their lawsuit if Uber moves forward with launching a service that violates the legal requirements for taxi service.

“These legal requirements are necessary to protect the public interest in safe and reliable taxi services and cannot be ignored as Uber previously indicated it intended to do.”

Vancouver Taxi / Shutterstock

SEE ALSO: Why does provincial taxi enforcement exist in the first place?

Today’s announcement coincides with Uber’s application to have the lawsuit dropped.

In addition, on Tuesday Vancouver City Council will review a report on issuing new taxi licenses in Vancouver. It is expected to extend the existing freeze on new licenses, a policy that expires at the end of this month.

Burnaby City Council is also considering permitting the ride-share service within its municipal boundaries. But unlike their Vancouver counterparts, officials at Burnaby have been more open minded with the idea of Uber operating within their jurisdiction.

Regardless of local municipal opinion, Uber would still need to receive final approval from the Passenger Transportation Board.

Uber has sparked controversy around the world for working around local laws and bringing unfair competition to established taxi businesses. For instance, new data in New York City indicates there are now 14,088 Uber affiliated vehicles within the city’s five boroughs compared to 13,587 taxis.

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