Ride-hailing applications in Vancouver, Canada: Representation, local empowerment and resistance


  • Isamara M. Vasconcelos Universidade de Brasília
  • Peter V. Hall Urban Studies Program, Simon Fraser University


Technological applications have caused a revolution in the way individual transportation rides are offered and taken in cities all over the world. The adoption and regulation of ride-hailing has been the subject of heated discussion involving elected officials, bureaucrats, industry proponents, the traditional taxicab industry, and civil society. To implement ride-hailing, proponents and platform operators confront an intricate web of decision-making processes and institutional politics. In this way, existing normative processes shape the emergent regulation of such transportation network companies. This article analyzes the case of Vancouver, Canada, one of the largest cities in North America where ride-hailing companies belatedly secured authorization to operate from the provincial government in 2019. Focusing on the policy debate since 2012, the research identifies the interactions and processes of interest representation among various actors regarding this new transportation technology. The analysis shows how a variety of political, economic and regulatory strategies contributed to the delayed adoption.