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Decision on ride-hailing delayed, BC NDP hires expert to review options

WATCH: Despite the fact it’s been examined many times before, the NDP government today announced yet another study into ridesharing in B.C. As Ted Chernecki reports, the New Democrats have hired the same man who put together a report for the City of Vancouver two years ago.

British Columbians looking for a clearer picture about the future of ride-hailing services like Uber in the province will have to wait a little longer.

The B.C. government has hired an industry expert to consult and create a “made-in-B.C.” solution to ride-sharing which he’s not expected to finish until early 2018.

“People want more options for getting around quickly, safely and affordably, including ride-sharing,” said Trevena in a media release. “That’s why we hired industry expert Dan Hara.”

READ MORE: Ride-sharing services including Uber and Lyft coming to B.C. in December 2017

This is not the first time Hara has looked at ride-hailing in B.C.; in 2015 he created a report for the City of Vancouver.

“Places that failed to move carefully when they brought in ride-sharing have seen safety issues, unpredictable prices and unstable access to services,” stated Trevena in explaining the new review.

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READ MORE: Businesses tell B.C. government to put the pedal to the metal on Uber

She said Hara’s expertise will help put a system in place that is fair and safe for everyone.

The province offered no target date for implementing ride-hailing services, but said it would deliver a more concrete plan and timeline by fall of 2018.

WATCH: Ride-sharing coverage on Global News 

Earlier this year, Uber began mapping the province with an eye to launching its service in Metro Vancouver by the end of the year.

The previous BC Liberal government had pledged to have ride-sharing operational by year’s end, in time for the holiday season.

BC Greens ‘disappointed’ with decision

Green Party leader Andrew Weaver said he’s “very disappointed that the government will not keep its promise to bring ridesharing [sic] to British Columbians by the end of this year.”
LISTEN: Andrew Weaver joins Steele & Drex to discuss ride-sharing in the province

In a statement, Weaver said British Columbians “cannot be tech innovators if we’re not willing to embrace innovation.”

READ MORE: BC Green Party to re-introduce ride-sharing legislation

“When new technologies emerge, government should proactively examine the evidence and openly debate the issue in a timely manner so that we do not fall behind the curve.”

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Weaver said he’ll be introducing legislation on Thursday that will enable ridesharing to “finally operate in a regulated fashion in B.C.”

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