B.C. government says demand, safety behind long-awaited riding hailing plan

B.C. government says demand, safety behind long-awaited riding hailing plan

The company is used to working with legislators and regulators in many jurisdictions and remains committed to working with the B.C. government to bring the service to the province, he said.

Vancouver is now the largest city in North America without a ride-hailing service. "The legislation aligns with city council's priorities and will result in more transportation options that are safe, flexible and convenient for people", Helps said.

"I know the North Shore is not going to be pleased".

"We are limited by insurance", Trevena told a news conference.

It also said all ride-hailing and taxi drivers will be required to have a Class 4 restricted licence instead of the standard Class 5 licence that most B.C. drivers have, and undergo mandatory criminal record checks.

A series of roadblocks that cap the number of cabs, require commercial drivers' licences and subject any new companies looking to get into the market to the same requirements that have already discouraged competition in the taxi industry are "bewildering", said Ian Tostenson of Ridesharing Now for B.C.

If passed, the Passenger Transportation Amendment Act will give more power to the Passenger Transportation Board to set fares, make decisions on the number of licences and the boundaries in which taxis and ride-hailing vehicles operate, taking some of that power away from municipal governments.

Access to B.C. drivers may be somewhat of a challenge for ride-hailing companies.

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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.

Allowing services such as Uber and Lyft into the province by the end of 2017 was a promise the N-D-P made during the last election campaign.

North Vancouver-Lonsdale NDP MLA Bowinn Ma defended the government's careful approach to ride hailing.

"Timelines are a big question to British Columbians", he said outside the legislature.

"We're bewildered. We're a bit stunned at what we thought was a commitment to introduce ride-hailing", he said.

Trevena would not commit to a specific date she believes ride-hailing services will be available to British Columbians - only that insurance products for ride-hailing companies should be available in about a year's time.

She added she does hear from North Vancouver constituents who are "very frustrated by the taxi service they are receiving". But Toronto charges companies like Uber a set fee per transaction, she said.

The development of measures to make sure people are not left stranded when traveling from one municipality to another.

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