WATCH: Vancouver cab companies are joining forces with a mobile app they hope will help fend off the ride-sharing app Uber. Ted Chernecki reports.
‘If you can’t beat ’em, join them,’ seems to be the adage the Vancouver taxi industry is embracing when it comes the possible entry of ride-sharing companies into the local market.
Four companies – Yellow Cab, Blacktop, Vancouver Taxi and MacLure’s – will begin using eCab in the next month. The app lets people see what taxis are closest to them, order specific ones, and pay ahead of time.
“For the industry to adapt, the industry knows they need to join forces. This is the first global alliance…that was born because of this digital revolution,” says Gilles Gomis of eCab. The company, based in Europe, already operates throughout France and in several other major European cities.
“Basically what’s going on in Europe is the same that’s going on worldwide. The taxi industry and the urban mobility industry is changing, and it’s changing with unprecedented competition,” he says.
There is currently a moratorium on granting any new taxi licenses in Vancouver while the city decides on a new strategy to deal with changes in the industry. While popular ride-sharing company Uber has expressed interest in expanding to Vancouver, the city and province have said they must comply with local regulations.