B.C. taps expert to deal with taxi industry over Uber adoption

Published: October 15, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Brad Neal



British Columbia is still working towards adopting ride-sharing in the province and is likely to face opposition from the taxi industry, which views Uber as a serious threat. In a potential move to smooth the path, the B.C. government announced it has hired an industry expert to work with the taxi industry and prepare it for the so-called Made-in-B.C. solution.

Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena said in a press release Dan Hara of Ottawa-based Hara Associates will help the province work with the taxi industry. Hara is an expert who has been providing consultation for vehicle-for-hire regulators for three decades.

“He is renowned for his knowledge of the taxi industry in North America and has undertaken a number of reviews for cities and provinces across Canada as they brought in commercial rideshare services,” the ministry reported. Past clients include the cities of Edmonton, Sudbury (Ont.), Halifax, Calgary, Ottawa, Waterloo (Ont.), Hamilton (Ont.), Mississauga (Ont.) as well as Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, the State of Victoria (Australia) and Saudi Arabia (via Ernst & Young).

“People want more options for getting around quickly, safely and affordably, including ridesharing,” Trevena suggested in the release. “That’s why we hired industry expert Dan Hara to help us deliver a made-in-B.C. approach to ridesharing that will keep people safe, and work for all regions of the province.”

The review will include:

  • An examination of the current regulatory framework in B.C.;
  • The current state of the taxi industry and regulation in other jurisdictions, including the impact of new entrants into the passenger-directed vehicle market;
  • Meetings with individual taxi licence holders to understand the industry’s current operating model, and identify any systemic barriers to modernization;
  • Meetings with a taxi drivers’ association to identify challenges and opportunities of the current passenger-directed vehicle regulatory framework;
  • Meetings with the Passenger Transportation Board, Passenger Transportation Registrar and Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement, local governments, Treaty First Nations (TFN), ports and airports to understand the complex regulatory environment for B.C.’s taxi industry and identify overlapping and duplicative requirements;
  • Meetings with taxi user representatives, including the Senior Advocate, disability advocates and tourism associations to understand the impact that the current system has on availability and accessibility of taxi service; and
  • Identify municipal, TFN or provincial policies, rules, regulation or legislation that may be impeding the taxi industry’s ability to modernize to meet consumer needs.