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

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

South Surrey’s Kevin McAlpin is hoping to reunite this 50-year-old wedding ring with its rightful owner. (Contributed photo)
Owner of 50-year-old wedding band found near Peace Arch Park sought

Recovered ring ‘is important to somebody,’ says finder

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
Surrey council earmarks $1.8M in grants for community groups

Councillor Laurie Guerra says it’s ‘essential’ given damage done by pandemic

Screen shot from the SOS Children’s Village BC webpage for their “Big Hearts Open Doors” fundraising appeal. SOS is also currently running a Christmas gift-card drive to help at-risk youth this Christmas. (Image via sosbc.org)
SOS Children’s Village BC launches annual Christmas gift-card drive

SOS collecting gift cards and donations for Surrey’s at-risk youth

Surrey protesters wearing their blue “bubble” suits. (Submitted photo)
OUR VIEW: Shut down strange Surrey protest

Unfortunate neighbourhood under siege for 12 weeks and counting

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Cops converge in a Marshall Road parking lot on Thursday afternoon following a reported police incident. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Federal offender escapes, gets shot at and is taken back into custody in Abbotsford

Several branches of law enforcement find escapee a short distance from where he fled

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

Most Read