British Columbians will finally get a road map to the implementation of ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft on Monday.
That’s when the province says Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena will introduce the Passenger Transportation Amendment Act, described as “government’s next step to enable ride-hailing in British Columbia.”
The bill will need to amend at least six pieces of existing legislation, including the Passenger Transportation Act, Insurance Vehicle Act, Motor Vehicle Act and Commercial Transport Act.
Even with the new legislation in place, ridesharing services likely won’t be in place until at least fall 2019 – based on statements made by Minister Trevena over the summer.
LISTEN: There are a lot of questions about the legislation that will be introduced for Ride Sharing in BC. How much more advantage will government give to the already well-protected taxi industry, being one of the questions.
However BC Green Leader Andrew Weaver said he’s hopeful the job can be done sooner.
“We’re going to push for spring, we’ll see how that plays out. Honestly there’s no reason why we can’t push forward,” he said.
“Again, I hear a litany of complaints from people who get off at Vancouver Airport, there’s no taxis, it’s essentially happening all over the world, we need to get with the program here.”
The governing New Democrats had promised the legislation would be introduced before month’s end, but said it would first roll out an additional 500 taxi licenses across the province.
Vancouver is the largest city in North America without ridesharing services, a fact that has drawn growing frustration from critics.
WATCH: (Aired Oct. 11, 2018) At a press conference held Thursday morning, Patricia Hynes-Coates from MADD Canada explains why ridesharing is a matter of public safety as cannabis becomes legalized.
The NDP campaigned on having the service in place by Christmas 2017.
In Oct. 2017, however, it pushed that timeline back, and instead commissioned a report by industry expert Dan Hara to review the taxi industry and develop a “made in B.C. solution.”
That report, made public in July, recommended boosting the number of taxis on the road by 15 per cent, eliminating municipal boundaries for cabs and allowing discounts for taxi rides ordered through an app.
WATCH: The provincial government is set to lay out legislation to finally bring ridesharing to B.C. But as Neetu Garcha reports, the plan is well overdue since the NDP promised the service in 2017.