Ride-sharing Services Coming to B.C.
Prince George, B.C. – The provincial government says ride-sharing services like Uber will be coming to B.C. by this December.
Transportation Minister Todd Stone and Minister Responsible for Translink Peter Fassbender confirmed the news at a press conference in Vancouver today.
The provincial government plans to introduce a series of improvements to help the taxi industry modernize and remain competitive in response to the change.
Those improvements include:
- New app-based technology: The Province will invest up to $1 million to help the taxi industry develop an app with the capability of shared dispatch to allow the taxi sector provincewide to better compete with new entrants to the market
- Crash prevention technology: ICBC will invest up to $3.5 million in the taxi sector to install crash avoidance technology in all B.C. taxis.
- Exclusive rights to street hailing for taxis: Taxis will retain exclusive rights to be hired by phone, at a taxi stand or flagged down at the curb.
- Open up taxi supply: The Province will work with municipalities to address the current shortage of taxis and vehicles for hire.
In addition to these improvements, the Province will require the same safety standards for both taxis and ride-sharing providers in order to protect the public and drivers. As part of this, Class 4 licenses will be phased out for taxi drivers and taxi and ride-sharing companies will be responsible for maintaining records that prove:
- All drivers have an unrestricted driver’s license (no graduated license) and are at least 19 years old.
- All drivers must have a criminal record check for past convictions of violent or sexual offenses as well as other offences.
- All drivers have passed a safe driving record check.
- Vehicles have passed regular mechanical inspections.
The government says the proposed improvements are the result of extensive feedback and consultation with stakeholders throughout the province.
Beginning this summer, the Province will seek additional input from taxi drivers, the ride-sharing and taxi industries, police, airports, municipalities, ICBC and RoadSafety B.C.
Uber Canada welcomed today’s announcement and released the following statement:
“From Vancouver to Victoria, Kelowna to Prince George, British Columbians want and need access to more safe, affordable, reliable transportation options across the province. Today’s announcement is a step forward by the provincial government and we’re encouraging all parties in British Columbia to commit to bringing forward progressive regulations that embrace ridesharing in 2017.”
That’s GREAT news… Must be nearing election for this to happen
Not if you’re a taxi driver. I don’t have a problem with the competition as long as the playing field is level.
What? It’s UBER!
In other news… I saw an MLA drinking a coffee today. Must be nearing an election!
She doesn’t have a brain of her own . WEAVER RESPONDS TO GOVERNMENT’S RIDESHARING ANNOUNCEMENT
March 07, 2017
VICTORIA B.C. – After tabling the Rideshare Enabling Act twice in the B.C. Legislature, MLA Andrew Weaver is glad to see the provincial government also advancing the issue.
“This government initiative is long overdue and a critical issue for the 21st century economy,” says Weaver, Leader of the B.C. Green Party.
Until today, the B.C. Greens have been the only party advocating for the responsible adoption of ridesharing in B.C., with Weaver introducing his Ridesharing Enabling Act in April 2016 and again in February 2017. Weaver held consultations with stakeholders to create the ridesharing framework bill.
“I have been working on this issue for two years, not out of electoral calculation, but rather as a matter of principle. The principle is – as I have stated repeatedly – that if we are to put innovation at the centre of our new economy, we must embrace the best ideas wherever we find them and improve upon them with made-in-BC expertise,” says Weaver.
I just get tired of our tax dollars being used to fund a private company, to help them make a profit. Always hear how free enterprise and private companies can do it better yet as a taxpayer we are always giving them our money for free. I seldom take a taxi. If they want all these features, they should install them and price themselves accordingly.
If the Government really wanted to provide the best service to people, they would allow Taxi’s to supplement the bus service, especially in under use area’s. That way you could call a taxi, and pay the bus fare, with BC Transit picking up the difference.
As it is we have 48 seat buses running empty, and occasionally picking up one or two passengers, during the off rush hours. Doesn’t make any sense at all.
BC Transit doesn’t seem to be in favor, even though it would reduce their costs considerably and of course put the taxi’s on a better financial footing.
BC Transit doesn’t care if the bus is full or has two passengers. If they did care about such things you wouldn’t see so many empty busses driving around. This is the problem with subsidizing transit. They don’t have any skin in the game to improve ridership.
ICBC should be happy since all these Uber drivers will have to buy commercial insurance since it is against ICBC policy to use your private vehicle for commercial purposes .
Last time I checked .
they will change it
Good news Uber is wonderful
Good, about time as the taxis in this town have had it good for a long time. When you have to pay 45$ from foothills to the airport one way I am hoping that it is a little better priced. That is ridiculous! I don’t care what the taxi drivers say, time to give riders a little break!
$45.00 seems a little high. Are you sure this cabbie didn’t take you for a ride??
That is unless when you say Foothills you mean where it connects with the Chief Lake Road.
Nope, lived here long enough to know the best way! Of course there are a few different ways, but he went the way I would have taken. Last time for me to take any kind of a taxi!
Sorry, to be more specific! Off of foothills and 15th and 2nd turn to the right. Approx. 1/2 mile or so. Not that far!
Recently, got a ride from Foothills to the Airport, $46. Still cheaper thank long term parking.
5th and Tabor to the hospital is $21
so $45 to the airport seems about right
Did you know , there are communities across the province that have populations that are so small that they can’t support a taxi company ? Did you know there are communities that have taxi companies that aren’t 24/7 . It would be a great second income in small places . it would come in handy to get to the buses on H16/37/97 etc .
Now you’re talking, totally agree on this situation. Competition is good for business!
As long as competition and those they are competing against have the same rules and regs. No longer will class 4 be required but vehicle inspections will be required for Uber as well – but how many of them will actually do it and how will Uber police that as an internet company?
In PG we used to have the little vw beetles running around but that ended after a few years.
These are not ride share but ride for hire, they are not “sharing” anything
Wow. Am I actually in agreement with Ataloss? Shocking!
You have to be careful with that critical thinking thingy . It could lead you to supporting the Green Party . You might even cut them a check . So far they have 6 PHDs holders running for office .
Ataloss, 6 PHD holders?. Well there yuh go, that’s the problem, not enough high school edyucation. LOL
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