(The original article was written 6 months ago)
The latest ride-hauling apps like Lyft or Uber are not coming to B.C. any time soon apparently, as the provincial NDP government has again, delayed the launch of the ridesharing services, in something that looks like another win for local taxi companies.
During a thursday morning, the Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said that the ride-sharing services won’t be available in B.C. until late 2019, which means at least another whole year to wait for residents.
This change just comes right after the government had received a new technical report from Dan Hara, whom is a transportation expert. The report had also made a number of recommendations, like decreasing the taxi fleets by 15% right away all throughout the province, or 300 cabs in the Lower Mainland and 200 more throughout the rest of B.C.
“We currently know that people are quite frustrated and have been waiting for too long”, Trevena said, while adding “it is important that we get this right”.
This year, a whole new legislation was also pressed by CTV journalist Mi-Jung Lee on whether she could actually guarantee the late 2019 date for the ride-sharing services in B.C., though the Minister couldn’t answer this question. She just reiterated the government’s own plan to take it’s time to make sure safety for both drivers and passengers.
Taxi App’s Rejected by Hara Report
In a completely new effort to keep the ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft out of B.C., the Vancouver Taxi Association has struck a new tentative agreement with wealthy Surrey businessman Monty Sikka to create a ride-for-hire app called “Kater”, with 20% of the profits remaining with Taxi firms.
Though this plan was ultimately rejected by the province, as per recommendations by Hara.
The details were outlined in a three-age “letter of intent”, which calls for the licensing of 200 “Kater Cabs” which would operate like Uber vehicles.
According to this new agreement, the rates charged by Kater Cabs would be the same rates charged by the VTA cabs. Carolyn Bauer, head of the taxi association, has also confirmed the tentative deal and also noted that the taxi industry is asking the government to approve the Kater app. “Ride-sharing is a need for the province of B.C.”, she said.
Though, a coalition supporting Uber and Lyft has reacted angrily to this idea.
“It would of course be deeply concerning if any government was actually considering a proposal for a taxi ride-sharing monopoly”, said Ian Tostenson, the president of Ride-sharing Now for B.C. “Backroom deals in between the taxi industry and also a politically connected company won’t really do anything for the British Columbians demanding new transportation options”.
B.C. is the last major jurisdiction in North America where ride-sharing services are still illegal.
The ruling by the NDP party also promised during their election campaign to bring ride-sharing apps to B.C. by the end of 2017. That promise was of course broken, while earlier this year, the government had suggested the ride-sharing could be released sometime in 2018. With the latest update from the Transportation Minister, residents will of course have to wait until late 2019 to see Uber or Lyft to show up, though there are no guarantees of this of course.
via iPhone In Canada