Thanks Vancouver For Banning Uber So I Could Wait In 30-Minute Taxi Lines


This picture was taken at my hotel in Vancouver, BC on Saturday.  This is only about a third of the mob trying to get a taxi, a process that took me over 30 minutes.  The whole thing was made doubly frustrating by another bit of government interference -- about half the taxis that showed up dropping folks off left the hotel empty despite the huge mass of people waiting.  Why?  Apparently certain airport taxis are not allowed to pick up people in certain areas.  So the taxis had to go all the way back to the airport empty, despite the fact that people there were waiting to go to the airport.  Absolute madness of crony government intervention.

Yes, I understand that Saturday is "cruise day" and there is a huge spike in demand as these boats load and unload.  But this is exactly why Uber would make so much sense.  Think about all the folks that have weekday jobs that would love to earn some extra money driving on a Saturday.  Uber allows for just this sort of flexibility.


  1. slocum:

    Ultimately, I think Uber is going to win because the contrast between the cities that have Uber and those that don't are going to be so glaring. Convention and Visitors bureaus are going to start squawking and putting pressure on local governments to get rid of ride-sharing bans.

  2. ErikTheRed:

    I keep saying it - places that ban Uber might as well be considered third-world.

  3. mogden:

    Is it so unfair to ask wealthy hotel-goers to wait a little so that the middle class can have jobs?

  4. Not Sure:

    "Is it so unfair to ask..."

    Of course it's not unfair to ask. But then, they're not really asking, are they?

  5. morganovich:


    1. yes. forcing anyone to hire anyone is unfair as is preventing people from selling their labor by giving a ride.

    2. uber drivers make more than taxi drivers. if you want to support drivers, then you ought to support uber, not the cartels that overcharge to rent medallions and undershare fares. you are arguing that drivers are better off if left at the mercy of a tightly run oligopoly.

  6. Daublin:

    There's a distinct lack of jobs in that picture. I see customers and I see infrastructure, but I see no actual people taking money to drive people. The lower middle class people who would gladly accept those jobs are apparently not allowed to, due to a complex of legislation.

  7. Matthew Slyfield:

    I think that is the third world countries. How many third world countries have banned Uber?

  8. Matthew Slyfield:

    We can hope, but right now, I wouldn't bet on Convention and Visitors bureaus being able to beat the entrenched taxi interests.

  9. ErikTheRed:

    Probably not many. It's apparently going strong in Mexico now.

  10. bigmaq1980:

    Maybe not from those sources, specifically, but where there are differences in overall service (such as the Vancouver example), it will just take time before the message sinks in that the taxi business is just another "crony business" that uses the law to entrench themselves and the will be a shift in popular thinking.

  11. morganovich:

    "How many third world countries have banned Uber?"



    the mexican taxi drivers are going crazy over uber. they are attacking driver, destroying cars, and making lots of violent threats.

    welcome to a guild system defending it's turf...

    no, really, it's about the customers.

  12. Andrew_M_Garland:

    Is it so unfair to ask people (who use hotels!) to wait 30 minutes or more so that one group of middle-income workers can exclude another such group from having a job that they would like?

    Not at all. Politicians have things well organized to demand contributions from the taxi companies, and Uber would upset that. If you favor the political power to demand a cut, then one must be against Uber and for the politicians. Politicians do a great job, their salaries are small, and they deserve some outside income.

  13. Joe B:

    Also---liberate push-cart wending in America!

    You will get better and cheaper food in urban America if push-cart vending were generally legalized. Plus, entrepreneurs without $250k to start a new restaurant could still take a stab at starting their one business.

    Get rid of the minimum wage, legalize push-carts and the Fed should really rev things up!

    Yes, there would have to be some minimal puch-cart regs---on size of push-carts for example, and that a push-cart owner must move immediately if asked to do so by the cops or other proper authority. Certain "tight spots" on city sidewalks would be off limits.

    But let it rip.

    And then decriminalize robust housing construction in every desirable neighborhood in America!

    Funny how few people believe in free enterprise in the USA....

  14. Matthew Slyfield:


    Why do you have to insult third world countries by associating them with France?

  15. Matthew Slyfield:

    Crony businesses have been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years. A shift in popular thinking isn't necessarily enough to defeat one.

  16. Fred_Z:

    Vancouver: Socialist Canadian shitehole that would be broke but for gigantic Chinese immigration. I'm Canadian, my brother lives in Hongcouver (Not a slight, I prefer the Hong to the Couver, buncha socialist ratbastard unionized Anglo thieves), and I would not invest a nickel there.

  17. bigmaq1980:

    Generally true, but we are talking about a specific and widely used service...paid personal transportation.

    Taxis have dominated this, but with effective promotion and advertising (as Uber has done), with the contrast in level of service (taxis vs Uber), along with the tech savvy youth inclined to use technology friendly services, I would put money on this eventually changing the protection that the taxi business now receive.

  18. slocum:

    I dunno -- a lot of cities have tourist hotels and convention centers to fill up. If they start losing business because their taxi system sucks relative to competing venues, that may make a difference.

  19. Matthew Slyfield:

    True to an extent, but you run into the problem of diverse costs and concentrated benefits.

    The value to the hotels and convention services to defeating the Uber ban is $ but the value of maintaining the ban to the taxi companies is $$$$.

    You also run into the problem where hotels and convention centers can run their own airport shuttle vans to / from the airport to compensate for poor taxi service and the shuttle service being free to the users is more attractive than even Uber. A lot of hotels in the US already have airport shuttle services.

  20. Herb:

    Wow, when did hotels become only for the wealthy.

    Hey, that means I'm wealthy. Thanks mogden.