06/14/2013 02:06 EDT | Updated 08/14/2013 05:12 EDT

Vancouver cabs granted injunction to block suburban taxis

A B.C. Supreme Court Justice has granted an injunction to Vancouver cab companies that would stop suburban cabs from operating in downtown Vancouver on Friday and Saturday nights.

Four Vancouver cab companies — BlackTop, MacLures, Yellow Cab and Vancouver Taxi — filed a petition in B.C. Supreme Court battling seven suburban rivals over the right to pick up passengers in downtown Vancouver.

The fight centres around a decision this week by B.C.'s Passenger Transportation Board, which gave the seven companies the right to run 38 additional cabs in downtown Vancouver Friday and Saturday nights.

The companies that had been receiving the additional permits are Delta Sunshine Taxi, Kimber Cabs, Guildford Cab, Tsawwassen Taxi, Newton Whalley Hi-Way Taxi, North Shore Taxi and Sunshine Cabs.

The temporary permits are aimed at solving what the board says is an "urgent" need for more cabs, but the four cab companies with Vancouver's licences want to overturn that decision.

The Vancouver companies say the board issued the suburban firms similar permits last December, but they never used them, and claim that's proof the need can't be that urgent after all.

The board's recent decision blames the city's "due diligence" problems for failing to get the suburban taxis approved in time to use their December permits.

It also claims the permits continue to be temporary because the city has failed to amend its bylaws to allow more cabs to operate.

The Supreme Court will rule on the matter permanently at the end of August.