EDITORIAL: Ride-hailing in B.C. is long overdue

Pressure from taxi industry, government red tape holding up process

Anybody who has stood on the street late on a cold winter’s night knows too well that frostbite could set in before a taxi arrives.

Across the region, wait times of more than an hour are common when the bars and pubs close on weekends, and waits can be equally as long on some mornings, during weekday commutes.

Parts of Greater Vancouver area – south-of-the-Fraser communities especially – have long been short on fast and reliable transportation service, so it remains frustrating that ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft will not be picking up passengers in B.C. for some time to come.

The BC Liberals failed for years to find a way to have such services operate in the province, which is one of the few places in North America without Uber, Lyft and related companies.

This month, the provincial NDP government announced a plan to introduce the service in the winter of 2019 — two years later than originally promised.

The delay is due to pressure from the taxi industry, which does not want competition in Metro Vancouver.

There is also the matter of all the hurdles Victoria is placing in front of ride-hailing companies’ path to your door.

ICBC has not even started to look at creating a licensing package for the services and won’t until legislation is passed. Yet the Insurance Bureau of Canada said private Canadian insurers in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec have developed insurance products that cover the risk for ride-sharing companies and can “quickly bring these products to B.C.”

The government is also requiring ride-hailing drivers to have class 4 licences, the same required of those who drive large commercial vehicles. Why?

Once insurance is in place, hailing an Uber or Lyft is no different than calling a friend for a ride. Why successive provincial governments of different political stripes have effectively blocked the service raised interesting questions.

B.C. resident need – and deserve – more options to get from point A to point B.

– Kamloops This Week

Just Posted

PHOTOS: White Rock marks Remembrance Day

Hundreds of people gathered Monday morning to give thanks to veterans

VIDEO: One injured in north Surrey shooting Sunday

Male victim taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries

Christmas Card Collective promises ‘special delivery’

Third annual event aims to see 10,000 holiday greetings delivered to homeless shelters

Surrey veteran talks about the emotional side of war

Reginald Wise served in the Royal Marines in WWII

White Rock RCMP member recognized by province for safety efforts

Chantal Sears among five B.C. residents honoured during Crime Prevention Week

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Coquihalla drivers urged to be careful amid freezing rain alert

Special weather statement in effect for highways between Hope, Merritt, Kamloops and Kelowna

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

14 SeaBus cancellations, free rides for veterans from TransLink on Remembrance Day

Free rides also available for current Armed Forces members, first responders

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Most Read

l -->