The British Columbia government says it will ease into allowing ride-hailing services in the province, laying the groundwork for the new rides to enter the market as early as the fall of 2019.
In the meantime, Transport Minister Claire Trevena says it will increase the number of taxis on the streets to help people get a safe ride and allow for flexible fares for existing taxi firms that arrange rides using apps.
Allowing services such as Uber and Lyft into the province by the end of 2017 was a promise by the NDP government during the last election, but Trevena would not commit to a new deadline during a news conference today.
Ride-hailing companies have been lobbying to enter the B.C. market, and now the government says it expects applications from firms to be submitted to the Passenger Transportation Board by September 2019.
The government hired expert Dan Hara to consult with the industry and stakeholders and his report along with recommendations from an all-party legislative committee will be used to modernize the Passenger Transportation Act.
Hara’s report says there should be 300 more cabs in Metro Vancouver and another 200 around the province.