With the news that Uber is coming to Calgary, a report that could decide the future of Vancouver rideshare and taxi services is going to City Council, the City of Vancouver has announced.
The report represents a year of research into Vancouver’s taxi and rideshare services, and contains 21 recommendations aimed at balancing the needs to passengers and the need for a stable taxi service that takes new technologies like Uber into account.
The recommendations encompass seven areas, including Safety, First Aid & Customer Service, Enforcement, and Advanced Data Monitoring.
Specific recommendations include:
- Require taxi drivers to obtain Occupational First Aid Level One certification every three years.
- Require taxi drivers to take refresher training every five years.
- Require taxi drivers to assist passengers with entering the taxi and loading/unloading their belongings.
- Require accessible taxi drivers to wait at least three minutes for the passenger to arrive at the pickup point, accompany passenger as needed – provide “door to door” – carry passenger’s items to door, and in the event of medical emergency, wait for paramedics to arrive.
- Increase taxi supply by allowing an additional 38 suburban taxis to service Vancouver during peak weekend times
Unlike other Canadian cities, and cities in the United States, Vancouver is unable to approve taxis, and will need to work with the Provincial Passenger Transportation Board for approval on additional taxis.
Uber Canada spokesperson Susie Heath contact Vancity Buzz in regards to the report, stating their commitment to cooperating with the province and the city in terms of ridesharing protocols.
“We are encouraged by the findings of the staff report and are committed to meeting with provincial officials and City staff on its 1-3 month timeframe to bring a plan to elected officials on how to quickly enable ridesharing in British Columbia,” said Heath. “We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from people across the province with tens of thousands of British Columbians writing personal emails and signing petitions calling for Premier Clark to show provincial leadership on ridesharing. “
“The City remains committed to ensuring Vancouver’s taxi service remains an industry leader in the provision of safe, timely, economical, accessible, environmentally sustainable and innovative service,” the release states.
The full report can be found online.