TransLink CEO Urges Participation with Ridesharing Services Like Uber

Although taxi drivers may oppose the entrance of ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft in Vancouver, TransLink’s CEO Kevin Desmond says the city’s public transportation system should “embrace” them because they could complement the system, reports the Globe and Mail.

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“We have to find ways to embrace this change,” said Kevin Desmond, who was hired from Seattle in February to take over the Lower Mainland’s transportation agency. He noted that ride-hailing services are hugely popular with the public, and transit systems “need to find out a way to participate in that and make it complementary.”

Desmond shared his thoughts about ridesharing during the Vancouver Board of Trade event, referencing a recent paper from the American Public Transportation Association, which concluded that ridesharing services represent another option for people to reach bus and rail lines more easily.

Since the public transport system doesn’t offer door-to-door services, Desmond sees ridesharing as a complementary service that would benefit all players, and that includes the transit system.

Uber was present in B.C. briefly in 2012, operating its service in Vancouver, but it was banned by the BC Passenger Transportation Board.

Speaking on CKNW’S Steele and Drex show, Uber’s chief strategist David Plouffe is confident the lift-sharing service will come to Vancouver by Christmas. Apparently, Plouffe bets on a re-launch, and Desmond’s push for ridesharing as a complementary service could pave the way for Uber’s re-entrance into the market.