Is B.C. stalling on ride-sharing adoption?

Published: October 4, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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The government of British Columbia is continuing to stall on its promise to bring ride-sharing companies like Uber to the province this year. In the latest twist, the NDP government says the safety of passengers and existing operators comes first.

With only three months of 2017 remaining, it is looking increasingly likely that the path to Uber adoption will be paved this year. Speaking this week, B.C. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the government must fully explore safety concerns before opening the door to ride-sharing.

However, she insisted the government is not stalking on creating legislation:

“It’s doing what we said we were going to do in the (election) platform and when we took over as government. We’re going to make sure passenger safety comes first,” said Trevena.

The NDP has previously promised to “work with taxi drivers, taxi companies and ride-sharing companies to create a truly fair approach to ridesharing in B.C. that doesn’t unfairly benefit – or punish – one group over the other.”

“We want to make sure whatever we’re doing, we’re doing it safely, we’re doing it judiciously,” she said. “We’re talking about people’s safety here.”

Green Leader Andrew Weaver is among the rivals who believes the province cannot afford to stall on adopting ride-sharing. He says he will introduce a private member’s bill for a third time to help introduce ridesharing.

Weaver says a bill can at least get the process moving, but the Liberals and leading NDP party do not seem to be receptive.

“We will never be viewed as innovators if we are not willing to embrace innovation,” he said.

“What we need to do together is bring the legislation that enables change to occur in a manner that’s fair,” he said. “We don’t need to wait years to do so.”