Ride hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft will be allowed in British Columbia by the fall of 2019, but they will be operating in a market so tightly controlled, critics question whether they'll be able to thrive.
New legislation introduced today (Nov. 19) will allow ride-hailing companies like Uber to enter B.C. next year, but it will be a long time before these services hit the road. It's unclear how long it will take to process those applications.
"We are limited by insurance", Trevena told a news conference.
The Insurance Corporation of B.C. has set a date for fall of 2019 to come up with a new type of insurance that would cover ride-hailing fleets. "We're working as quickly as we can".
Trevena said she expects to see applications filed soon.
It also ended the ability of municipalities to regulate the number of cabs, vesting that responsibility completely with the province's Passenger Transportation Board. "TappCar is a proud Canadian company with headquarters in Canada". "We see this as an expansion of the taxi industry in B.C".
Gibson, who has been using a wheelchair ever since a crash involving a drunk driver left her a paraplegic, said there are lots of reasons to allow ride-hailing.
But Shauna Brail, associate professor in urban studies at the University of Toronto, said British Columbia isn't reinventing the wheel by regulating the industry. "What they set up is a cumbersome, government-run bureaucracy for something that should be determined by market demand".
Needless to say, although the legislation comes as progress to some, many British Columbians were unhappy with the timeline of the rollout of the services.
The NDP government has faced criticism for being slow to open the door to ride hailing, which is well-established in other parts of the country.
Green Leader Andrew Weaver said the NDP's bill is a move in the right direction, but he questioned the government's plan to require driver training and class four licences rather than class five, which are used by most drivers in B.C. Class four licences are required to drive taxis, ambulances and small buses with 25 or fewer passengers.
An all-party committee of the legislature made 32 recommendations last February to help pave the way for ride-hailing.
The inclusion of a per-trip fee to fund more accessibility options for people with disabilities.
When presented with recent political donation figures that show tens of thousands of dollars flowing from taxi companies to both major political parties, Tostenson said he's struggling for a better explanation.