Ride-hailing applications in Vancouver, Canada

a case of interest representation, local empowerment and resistance


  • Isamara Vasconcelos University of Brasília
  • Peter Hall Simon Fraser University


Technological applications have caused a revolution in the way the individual transportation rides are offered and taken in cities all over the world. The adoption and regulation of ride-hailing has been subject of a heated discussion between elected officials, bureaucrats, industry proponents and the traditional taxicab industry. The management and market control of these operations confronts an intricate web of decision-making processes and institutional politics through which existing normative processes shape the regulation of transportation network companies (TNCs). This article employs the interest representation framework to analyze the case of Vancouver, Canada, one of the largest cities in North America where ride-hailing companies have only recently secured authorization from the provincial government. Focusing on the policy debate since 2012, the research identifies how actors successfully delayed and shaped the final decision. The analysis shows how the decision-making process was affected and oriented through a variety of political, ethnic, economic and regulatory strategies.