B.C. Residents Growing Impatient Due to Lack of Ride-Hailing Options

It’s been a long time coming, and B.C. residents are growing impatient with the lack of ride-hailing companies.

According to a new report from North Shore News, Vancouver residents are speaking out against the BC NDP for failing to deliver on a promise to bring app-based ride-hailing services to the province in time for this year’s travel season.

Before forming government last summer, the BC NDP promised it would pass legislation regulating app-based ride-hailing services in the province before the end of 2017. But halfway through 2018, that still hasn’t happened.

“We absolutely need to get [ride-hailing] in B.C.,” said North Vancouver resident Jane Thornthwaite, adding she’s been advocating for companies like Uber and Lyft to be allowed to operate in the province for years. “I was extremely disappointed to hear they were going to put it off for a year.”

Sadly, people won’t be able to utilize one of these services until next year, at the earliest. During a conference on July 19th, the NDP government announced that they would not permit these services until Fall 2019.

According to the report, the government is working on ride-hailing but the changes needed to make it legal are complicated. One key issue is coming up with an insurance scheme that would allow transport of passengers in private vehicles – something ICBC will work on over the next year.

Instead, they’ve promised an additional 500 taxis in the region to compensate for the lack of availability and rise in population. With that in mind, not everyone thinks that this will create sufficient relief for a soaring population. Critics have voiced skepticism that the heavily regulated taxi industry will be able to fill demand and questioned the need for the government to control how many taxis are on the road.

Furthermore, many people think that taxi companies abuse their power — in terms of pricing and who they’ll choose to drive — because they have a monopoly in the industry. With that being said, many drivers depend on the industry for their income, and introducing new services may result in a loss of jobs.