WATCH: Are B.C. Liberals warming up to sharing economy services like Uber?
It’s a ridesharing service available in 68 countries around the world and many municipalities in Canada.
Uber has been taking the world by storm, but one major exception on its map of services is Metro Vancouver.
The Liberal government has strenuously resisted any efforts by Uber to set up shop here.
But in an interesting twist this week, an ad paid for and posted by the BC Liberal Party surfaced on social media, asking British Columbians for their thoughts on sharing economy.
No one from the party responded to Global News request for an interview, but Transportation Minister Todd Stone says they encourage companies like Uber to establish themselves in B.C. and says the onus is on Uber to receive all the necessary approvals from the passenger transportation branch.
“It’s really up to Uber to engage the regulatory environment, which is in place in each jurisdiction where they choose to operate,” says Stone.
He says the ministry wants to continue discussions with both Uber and the taxi industry.
But some say, Uber’s arrival in Metro Vancouver is only a matter of time.
“I think in the next several months or a year or so, it will come in to Vancouver and it will be well received,” says public transit expert Robin Lindsey with UBC Sauder School of Business.
It’s been a bumpy road for the San Francisco-based company getting into Canadian cities.
Uber has faced opposition in many Canadian municipalities — its arrival catching lawmakers off guard and upsetting the taxi industry.
But despite lingering concerns over surge pricing and safety, experts believe Uber’s presence in Metro Vancouver is inevitable.
“Most Canadian cities are now considering changes in regulation,” says Lindsey. “So, most of them are being proactive, now recognizing that Uber will come in and they want it to come in a desirable way.”
With files from Nadia Stewart