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B.C. taxi industry challenges 'destructive competition' from ride-hailing apps

A coalition of nine taxi companies in Metro Vancouver has asked thB.C. Supreme Court to quash ride-hailing rules it says were illegally created for companies such as Uber and Lyft.

 Row of taxi cabs. File photo/North Shore News.Row of taxi cabs. File photo/North Shore News.

VANCOUVER — A coalition of nine taxi companies in Metro Vancouver has asked thB.C. Supreme Court to quash ride-hailing rules it says were illegally created for companies such as Uber and Lyft.

The companies say in their petition that the Passenger Transportation Board had no authority to set binding policy guidelines for ride-hailing services before hearing individual applications to determine whether they should be issued a licence.

The board announced guidelines last month allowing so-called transportation network services an unlimited number of vehicles in broader geographic areas compared with taxis, which the industry says amounts to "destructive competition."

The board has said the taxi industry was involved in its consultations but the petition says the industry was not given information about ride-hailing services' business models and therefore could not challenge any "questionable" practices that Uber in particular has engaged in elsewhere.

Representatives for both Uber and Lyft have said they would be filing applications this month to offer their services in B.C.

The board has said passengers can expect ride-hailing services to start operating in parts of the province by the end of the year.