Ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft should be operating in Metro Vancouver by Christmas, but Vancouver city council is already proposing a new fee to help counter congestion.
A city report recommends the implementation of a “Congestion and Curbside Management Permit” or CCMP, a $0.30 fee for each passenger pick-up and drop-off between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. — for a total of $0.60.
The city hopes this fee will “temper demand for vehicle-based transportation” during the most congested part of the day — however, it will apply to weekends as well.
The fee would be discounted 50 per cent for zero-emission vehicles, and would not apply to accessible vehicles, such as vans with wheelchair ramps.
In addition to helping to mitigate congestion from ride sharing, the city hopes the fee will help support the continued operation of taxis and limousines — in addition to ride-hailing services like Uber, Lyft and Kater.
Video: Report Says Ride Sharing Adds To Congestion – CBS New York
City of Vancouver staff plan to study the impact of ride sharing on the taxi industry once services begin operating this winter, and say the fee could be lowered or increased in the future.
The city report outlining the proposed $0.60/trip fee also says “many municipalities are reporting increases in vehicle trips and congestion, declining transit ridership and reduced walking, cycling and transit trips” as a result of ride-hailing — contradicting Vancouver’s Climate Emergency Response and congestion management goals.
City fee in addition to accessible transportation fee from provincial government
The “congestion management fee” proposed by the City of Vancouver is in addition to a $0.30/trip fee from the Province for non-accessible vehicles, to fund accessible transportation, although details of how exactly that will work have not yet been announced.
A consistent licensing scheme for ride sharing vehicles, taxis and limos in Vancouver is proposed as well — at $155 for a company licence plus $100 per vehicle.
The City of Vancouver says it’s open to partnering with other municipalities in the Lower Mainland to coordinate licences through an inter-municipal business licence.
To make ride sharing pick-up and drop-offs easier, the city says it will install up to 30 additional curbside passenger zones by the end of 2019. There are currently 270 passenger zones in the city, with 200 of them located in the downtown core.
The city says as one of the last major North American municipalities without ride-hailing, “much has been learned from other municipalities that have experienced growth in this service.”