(Flickr image)

Talks about regional Lower Mainland ride-hailing licence remain behind closed doors

Licence will be up for review by city councils in the coming months

Mayors in Metro Vancouver are continuing to talk about an inter-municipal business licence for ride-hailing companies, but they’re not ready to give any details just yet.

The topic came up at the Thursday meeting of the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation.

Geoff Cross, TransLink’s vice-president of transportation planning and policy, said a working group has been on the issue for the past six weeks.

The working group, which is made up of members from each municipality in what’s defined as Zone 1 for ride-hailing licensing – the Lower Mainland – should be ready to present its proposal shortly, Cross said.

The inter-municipal business licence would bring a “standardized approach with one central body for both the administration, collection of licensing and… to assist with enforcement provisions,” he said.

Cities would be “urged to adopt the licence,” although it will be voluntary, Cross said.

He did not mention what would happen if cities like Surrey, which have been staunchly opposed to the service, do not get on board.

Cross said each city council involved will have to consider the inter-municipal business licence proposal in February and March so ride-hailing companies can adapt to the rules set out.

Chair Jonathan Cote said the mayors were “not at a point today to go into the details” of the licence, choosing instead to discuss specifics in a closed-door portion of the meeting.

READ MORE: Premier says McCallum is ‘destabilizing’ ride-hailing industry

VIDEO: Uber, Lyft approved for ride-hailing in Lower Mainland


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