June 28, 2018 9:57 pm
Updated: June 28, 2018 10:01 pm

A new push for ride-hailing in Metro Vancouver

A number of stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality industry are calling for ride-sharing in Metro Vancouver sooner rather than later. Jill Bennett reports.

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Members of the group Ridesharing Now for BC are once again calling on the provincial government to bring ride-hailing to this province immediately.

“Another summer without ridesharing means another summer of unreasonably long waits for non-existent taxis,” Ian Tostenson, president and CEO of the British Columbia Restaurant and Food Services Association (BCRFA), said at a noon hour news conference in Vancouver on Friday. 

Coverage of ride hailing in B.C. on Globalnews.ca:

“It’s a real shame that our world class city does not have world class transportation options.”

Nashville saw drunk driving fall by 30 per cent when ride-hailing was introduced there, Tostenson said.

He said with cannabis about to be legalized, B.C. needs to look at ride-hailing to help reduce the number of impaired drivers on the roads.

READ MORE: Provincial government pumping the brakes on ride-hailing in B.C. by Christmas

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Anita Huberman with the Surrey Board of Trade said her city will soon be B.C.’s biggest, and that it needs ridesharing for both residents and tourists.

Harbour Air vice-president Chad Wetsch said his customers in downtown Vancouver face a lack of transportation options every day.

“This is a huge problem that creates additional challenges in the busy summer months and we need options like ridesharing right away.”

Wetsch said it’s common for his customers for wait for more than an hour for a cab.

Advocates for companies such as Uber and Lyft said the debate over ride-hailing has been ongoing since 2011 and it’s time for action.  

On June 14, B.C. Premier John Horgan was asked whether ride sharing and ride-hailing will be legal in B.C. before Christmas 2018.

He would not commit to that time frame but said to expect an announcement on ride-hailing in the fall.

READ MORE: The illegal Richmond ride-hailing app that allegedly won’t take non-Chinese fares

But will British Columbians see ride-hailing in their province by the end of the year? It doesn’t seem likely.

 ​”We’re going to bring in some options for the public,” aid Delta North NDP MLA Ravi Kahlon, who was on the legislative committee that produced “Transportation Network Companies in British Columbia,” a report that looked into ride-hailing in the province.

“We want to ensure that there’s safety, we want to ensure that people can still make a living in the industry, and we want to make sure that any entrants that come in the market, whoever it is, follows by the rules of British Columbia.’

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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