Ride-hailing services will not be available to people in B.C. until at least fall 2019, according to the provincial government, leaving the province as one of the last major jurisdictions without ride-hailing, and breaking the NDP’s promise to have the service in place by the end of this year.
Instead, the government plans to increase the number of taxis in B.C. by 15 per cent (300 in the Lower Mainland and 200 in the rest of the province), allow taxi companies to discount rides booked using an app and providing more data to the provincial regulator, as part of a plan to modernize taxi services.
The changes were suggested in a report commissioned by the government and written by taxi-industry expert Dan Hara.
The province plans to make the necessary legislative changes during the fall session to allow ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, then it will be up to the Insurance Corp. of B.C. to change its insurance structure.
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena expects ride-hailing companies will have their applications to enter the market in to the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) by next September.
Jennifer Saltman – Vancouver Sun – July 20, 2018.