This Uber map shows where it will be operating around Vancouver initially. (Uber.com)

Langley politicians look forward to arrival of Uber, Lyft

A regional ridesharing license template is expected by the end of the month

With Uber and Lyft operating on a limited basis in Vancouver as of Friday morning, Langley City and Township are expected to allow the firms soon, once a regional bylaw is created.

Both City and Township are participating in a group created by the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation, to create an inter-municipal business license for the Lower Mainland area.

The final draft of the regional bylaw is expected to be released on Jan. 31.

“I am looking forward to having this transportation option available for residents in our community,” said Township Councillor Margaret Kunst, who is acting mayor this month.

It’s the same story in Langley City.

“We’re working in conjunction with Metro Vancouver,” said City Mayor Val van den Broek.

She is particularly looking forward to the group ridesharing option allowing more than one person to use a ride, as a potential way to reduce congestion.

“It’s another option for people,” van den Broek said.

At present, Uber has released a map showing its “service area” which includes a significant amount of Metro Vancouver, but not any part of Langley.

As of Friday, Uber and Lyft are picking up riders in parts of Vancouver – mostly downtown – and dropping off in a potentially wider area.

Under the existing rules, any ridesharing firm that’s been approved by the province can operate in the Metro Vancouver and Whistler area – but local municipal governments can require they get business licences and meet additional requirements to pick up. Most local municipalities are expected to apply business license requirements soon based on the template underway, but cities can’t ban drop offs.

The mayor of Langley’s largest neighbour has vowed not to allow ridesharing to operate. Mayor Doug McCallum of Surrey reiterated Friday that he doesn’t want to see Uber in his city as he considers it unfair competition with the taxi industry, and citing the fact that ridesharing firms won’t have to serve disabled users, as taxi companies are required to do.

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