Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft will soon be roaming streets across British Columbia just in time for the busy holiday season.
Transportation Minister Todd Stone says the provincial government will use the next nine months to consider all of the pros and cons, including passenger safety.
“We’ve seen issues arise in other jurisdictions that have rushed to incorporate ride-sharing. BC is a place where moving people and goods calls for innovative and forward-thinking solutions.”
Stone says ensuring fair competition, as well as the regulation of driver and passenger safety, will be the BC Liberals’ top priority.
“We’re going to take this next nine months to continue to make sure we get the details right, and nothing is more important as part of that, than ensuring the safety regime that we put in place is there to truly protect consumers and drivers.”
Also speaking at today’s announcement, Minister responsible for Translink Peter Fassbender says taxi businesses across the province have shown their full support.
“We’re not rushing to putting legislation on the table. We’re wanting additional feedback to make sure that all of the details that still have to be worked out, are bathed in with good feedback now that they know what framework we want to put forward.”
A $1 million funding will be put towards the industry to upgrade phone app technology, allowing current businesses to remain competitive in all BC communities.
ICBC will also be contributing to the sector’s modernization, adding $3.5 million for crash-prevention and improving insurance products
Interested drivers over the age of 19 will have to follow the same regime, including safe-driving and criminal record checks, and proper licensing.
Cars must also pass regular mechanical inspections.
(Files from Kyle Balzer with MYPRINCEGEORGENOW)