British Columbia working on introducing Uber and Lyft support in 2019

Published: April 2, 2019

Updated: April 28, 2019

Author: Luke Jones

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British Columbia Premier John Horgan has pledged ride-sharing support for companies such as Uber and Lyft will be introduced this year. He made the promise following a new all-party committee report that says there should be few government restrictions on ride-hailing.

“We committed to get this done,” Horgan told reporters Tuesday. “I am absolutely confident that ride-hailing will be here in 2019.”

Nine members comprised the committee from all parties and looked into regulations for ride-hailing. Among the recommendations was a regulatory framework that does not restrict Uber too much, including relaxed regulations around boundaries, numbers of vehicles, driver licensing, and fares.

“In order to get true ride-hailing on the road for British Columbians … government can’t get in the way,” said Liberal Stephanie Cadieux, the deputy chairwoman of the committee on Crown corporations.

Cadieux says the committee recommendations are not binding and match the framework initially created by the then Liberal government two years ago.

“We are hopeful, but not optimistic, the government will choose to accept these recommendations,” said Cadieux. New Democrats are now in charge of British Columbia and last year drafted legislation that aims to push forward the introduction of ride-hailing in the province.

This legislation will amend eight statutes. Furthermore, the Passenger Transportation Board will be given more power to create terms and conditions for licenses for taxi drivers and ride-hailing companies.

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena will now check the report, and Premier Horgan’s comments may be important in pushing the regulations over the line. However, Trevena has said the government will insist on drivers holding a Class 4 commercial license. The recommendations say Class 5 licenses would be enough, which is the level of license most drivers in B.C. hold.