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The Final Major Holdout in North America Finally Welcomes Uber and Lyft

After a brief appearance in 2012, ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft had yet to touch down in Vancouver, British Columbia. That changed on January 24.
January 26, 2020, 11am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Toronto Uber
Uber Technologies Inc. has a facility in Toronto, but until last week, they were prohibited to operate in Vancouver.

"Uber conquered North America a long time ago. Except for Vancouver," writes Alison Griswold.

The city shut down Uber after a brief period of operation in 2012, and the company's usual lobbying tactics hadn't worked until this month.

In late 2014, with Uber rumored to be eyeing a return to Vancouver, the city placed a six-month moratorium on issuing new taxi licenses and British Columbia deployed plainclothes transit agents to monitor for any illegal taxi operators. Over the next few years, the city council repeatedly extended the moratorium.

So it was a very big deal when yesterday (Jan. 23) the Passenger Transportation Board announced it had approved both Uber and Lyft to operate their ride-hail services in parts of British Columbia.

Uber emailed users to report that they would be launching service the next day, January 24.

Griswold references a September 2019 article published by Slate that reports Vancouver had faired just fine without ride-hailing companie, so it will be a city to watch in coming months and years to track the effect the change.

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Published on Friday, January 24, 2020 in Quartz
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