Uber and Lyft Deserve to Stay in Surrey

While it’s important to consider taxi companies, the pros of ridesharing outweigh the cons

(Flickr/Ian Forrester)

The day after Uber and Lyft finally got approval to operate in Metro Vancouver, the City of Surrey sent a letter to Uber to cease operations within the city limits.

In most of Vancouver, it seems that everyone was happy about the arrival of ride sharing. Meanwhile, Uber drivers were ticketed by bylaws officers in Surrey.

An Uber driver named Carlos Medina was charged with a $500 fine when he went to pick up a passenger at King George Station, as reported by CTV News. And he wasn’t alone. There were many more drivers who were charged for working with a ridesharing service within the City of Surrey boundaries.

The decision to fight against Uber was likely made because of the loss of riders that local taxi drivers will now have to face, but they are not the only ones who will suffer a major loss. For the people who own taxi companies, business could likely slow down to a great extent.

Both Ubers and taxis charge riders according to the distance they travel, but the prices for each are gauged differently. In terms of affordability, many people think that ridesharing services are more preferable over taxis, and most of the time, people do not have to wait nearly as long for an Uber to show up after they’re summoned. It’s cheap and quick, and Uber passengers alone get to choose their vehicle.

Being an Uber driver is also a good opportunity for someone who is looking for a part-time job. Drivers for Uber need to be over 21 years old, and they have to pass a background and driving record check. They also need a car that can seat at least four passengers. These requirements lessen safety concerns for Uber users, though taxi-drivers also have to meet similar requirements.

Whether the City of Surrey is in favour of ridesharing or not, having Uber and Lyft would be beneficial for citizens.

Officers were fining Uber drivers for two weeks — a period that ended when a B.C. Supreme Court judge ordered them to stop.

At last, the mayor of Surrey has said that it’s “time to move on.” While it’s important to consider taxi drivers, the fact that Uber is successfully operated in Canadian cities that are way bigger than Surrey — like Montreal, Calgary, and Ottawa — can not be neglected.

In New York City, where yellow cabs are incredibly common, ridesharing providers coexist with taxi companies. Whether or not people stop using taxis altogether completely depends on the environment they’re living in. Surrey already has rapid busses, trains that connect to Metro Vancouver, and taxi services. Now that it has Uber and Lyft as well, ridesharing can be considered a step in the development of the city’s transport network.