British Columbia opens door to ride-sharing in 2018

Published: February 20, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



British Columbia is finally opening its doors to ride-hailing services after an all-party committee of the legislature unanimously voted to introduce the services in the province. So ends a long process where B.C. has attempted to create legislation to adopt companies such as Lyft and Uber.

After voting to adopt ride-hailing, the committee drafted 32 recommendations that will help regulate companies and bring them to the market. Vancouver remains the largest city in North America that does not support ride-sharing.

Bowinn Ma, the NDP committee chairwoman said the recommendations have been created to effectively balance the need of regulation companies in fairness with existing industries and ensuring worker and consumer rights are protected.

“What I will say is that the ride-hailing … report is not the be-all, end-all of a regulatory regime for B.C.,” Ma said.

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena says the ride-sharing legislation will be prepared and ready for this fall. The report is currently under review but it highlights five important areas under consideration for creating regulations. Areas of interest include insurance, licensing, public safety, pricing, and industry regulations.

Other considerations include the impact ride-sharing services will have on the taxi industry and local communities throughout British Columbia. In terms of taxi services, the regulations aim to “allow for equitable and fair competition.”

“Protecting specific types of business for the traditional taxi industry, such as street-hailing and taxi stands, should also be considered,” the report says.

“It’s great to see all parties supporting ride-sharing options that would provide choice for passengers,” said Ian Tostenson of Ridesharing Now for B.C. “We are encouraged by today’s report and look forward to the NDP government moving forward on this file in 2018.”