Looks like we’ll have to wait at least a whole 365 days longer for that Uber or Lyft ride in B.C.
The latest from the Ministry of Transportation is that ride-hailing services will not be coming to the province until fall 2019.
In the meantime, the BC NDP government will be focusing on a new legislation to increase the number of taxis on the streets, and allow taxi companies to offer discounted fares for passengers booking their trips through an app.
Originally meant for 2017
During the last provincial election, the NDP promised to bring ride-sharing services to the province by the end of 2017.
Now, the Ministry of Transportation says they expect applications from ride-share companies who want to enter the BC market to be submitted to the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) by September 2019.
The province is currently focusing on introducing a legislation that will focus on improving consumer safety, streamlining license applications for taxi drivers, the supply and boundaries for taxis, and other passenger-directed vehicles, and working with ICBC to enable a modern insurance product.
“People need to be able to get around safely and reliably,” Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena said.
“That’s why we’re putting more taxis on the streets, and laying the groundwork for new services to enter the market.”
Advocacy group responds
A group advocating for ride-share services in BC expressed their dissatisfaction with this afternoon’s announcement in a Facebook message:
“We are extremely disappointed in today’s announcement,” reads the post. “It is unacceptable that ridesharing is going to take at least 18 months. British Columbians deserve the same services that are available across Canada, reducing impaired driving and increasing access to reliable service and they deserve it this year.”