NDP leader John Horgan meets with taxi operators in Victoria, October 2014. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

UPDATE: Pressure on John Horgan to protect taxi industry

Claire Trevena announces another study of Uber-style service

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena announced Monday that the B.C. NDP government is hiring an Ottawa-based consultant to study ride sharing, a hot political issue for urban areas as unregulated smartphone services have already started operating in Metro Vancouver.

Trevena said the report by consultant Dan Hara is expected by next spring, and will guide the government’s next moves. During last spring’s election campaign, Premier John Horgan promised ride sharing by the end of 2017, but Trevena said it is a complicated issue with differences around the province.

Trevena indicated that a framework to allow services like Uber and Lyft to operate in B.C. will be in place by the end of 2018. She said she is aware of the demand by urban communities to open up the system because taxis have not provided sufficient service.

Trevena said she had not read Hara’s previous report on ride sharing, done for the City of Vancouver in 2015. A system that works for communities like Campbell River and Quesnel as well as Vancouver is needed, she said.

B.C. Liberal transportation critic Jordan Sturdy said the NDP is breaking an election promise to deliver ride sharing by the end of 2017.

“There’s an assessment, a study, evidently by a gentleman who’s already done a study on exactly this issue, to be delivered some time in the spring, with a potential for legislation next fall,” Sturdy said.

Trevena said there are six pieces of provincial legislation governing the taxi busines, some dating back to the 1920s. B.C. also has a Passenger Transportation Board that administers taxi licences.

Introduction of Uber, Lyft and similar mobile phone-based services has been a divisive political issue, as both the B.C. Liberal government and the NDP have struggled with how to licence the new technology while protecting the taxi industry.

The B.C. Green Party has been demanding action and the other parties stress the need for a “level playing field” with taxi companies who have big investments in vehicle and dispatch systems.

Just Posted

Fernie Snow Drags; an ongoing tradition

Like wild animals filled with an everlasting rage, sleds flew down the… Continue reading

Shypitka reacts to BC budget

Kootenay East MLA laments increased taxation, spending

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

BC BUDGET: Payroll tax replaces medical premiums

Health spending to increase $1.5 billion for drugs, primary care teams

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

IIO: Kamloops RCMP did not have to report shooting

The IIO is not investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred in Kamloops in 2017

No smoke alarm, faulty cord contributed to fatal B.C. fire

Faulty electric cord and power source connected to space heater believed to have caused flames

Walmart partners online grocery service to bring Vancouver home delivery

Move expands upon similar efforts announced last November to grow home delivery service

BC Wine Institute to take legal action against Alberta

The BC Wine Institute to seek injunction to protect B.C. wineries from Alberta wine ban

BC BUDGET: Tobacco tax hike may light up black market in smokes

NDP government adds another 56 cents per pack as of April 1

4 treatment centres to open in memory of B.C. teen who died of an overdose

A treatment centre for addictions is opening in Penticton after the first one fell through

Most Read