BRITISH COLUMBIA

Uber Launches Petition To Gain Vancouver Support

11/07/2014 09:20 EST | Updated 11/07/2014 09:59 EST
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Uber has upped the ante in the fight to bring its ride-share app to Vancouver, launching an online petition in the hopes to gain support among locals.

The petition was launched on the Uber website Thursday, according to CTV News, and already collected over 10,600 signatures early Friday evening.

Uber argues in the petition "the Province of British Columbia, at the behest of the taxi industry, isn’t putting consumers first or thinking about how new innovations can create better transit solutions for all." The company encourages locals to "stand up for choice in Vancouver and sign the petition — because a bold and innovative city like Vancouver deserves bold and innovative solutions like Uber."

Though already popular around the world, Uber has had a tumultuous relationship with Vancouver and the province.

The company operated in Vancouver for about six months in 2012, but shut down when B.C.'s Passenger Transportation Board imposed a minimum fare of $75 per trip.

But rumours started flying last month that the company might make a return to Vancouver, to which city council responded with a vote that placed a six-month moratorium on new licences.

B.C.'s transportation minister announced on Monday the province would stage undercover stings targeting Uber vehicles, promising hefty fines and legal action if drivers are caught without proper licences.

Then on Tuesday, Vancouver's four taxi companies filed a lawsuit against Uber in a pre-emptive strike, alleging the company is preparing to launch with unlicensed drivers in an attempt to illegally undercut traditional cabs.

Uber issued a statement Tuesday that stressed it does not currently operate in Vancouver and suggested the lawsuit is more than an attempt by the taxi industry to protect its profits.

The company has not confirmed whether it plans to launch in Vancouver or whether it intends to comply with taxi regulations if it does.

With files from The Canadian Press

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