Published: Fri, November 23, 2018
Money | By Wilma Wheeler

Ride-hailing could be coming to Squamish next year

Ride-hailing could be coming to Squamish next year

According to the government, the delay is largely due to ICBC needing to develop insurance packages and a process for doing background checks on drivers.

On Monday, the provincial government introduced legislation to allow ride hailing companies to operate in B.C., likely by late next year.

Local governments will still set vehicle type, taxi stand locations and local business-licence requirements.

After years of waiting, British Columbians may finally be able to catch a ride in an Uber or Lyft - but not quite yet. "It's obvious that neither of the other parties has been able to find the political will to act on this issue in a timely manner". Class 1 allows someone to drive any vehicle other than a motorcycle, Class 2 is for bus drivers and allows someone to drive any vehicle that a Class 3, 4 or 5 licence holder can drive, and Class 4 is for those who want to drive a taxi, ambulance or small bus.

The BC NDP originally pledged to bring ride-hailing to the province by the end of 2017 and there was some suggestion that the service would be available this year.

An all-party committee of the legislature made 32 recommendations last February to help pave the way for ride-hailing.

-The inclusion of a per-trip fee to fund more accessibility options for people with disabilities.

Price controls are also a way to limit "surge pricing" by ride hailing companies - the model used by Uber and Lyft under which prices increase dramatically during times of high demand, said Ma.

The legislation also includes hefty hikes in fines for offenders operating in the ride-hailing market without proper licensing.

"Ride-hailing enterprises like Uber helped invent the gig economy, where jobs are created to be precarious, unstable, and mostly low-paying". "We appreciate the goal of the bill is to expand transportation options and focus on passenger safety", federation president Irene Lanzinger said in a statement. "By leveling the playing field, TappCar, and other local rideshare companies, will be able to compete with the worldwide players". "But the proposed legislation should have included measures to modernize outdated employment laws that give employers too much power and employees too few rights".

The federation is calling for changes that ensure ride-hailing companies can't classify their employees as independent contractors.

"Drivers, experienced safe drivers have a hard time understanding why they would need to get a special driver's licence to drive the same vehicle that they're already driving, so it definitely becomes a barrier to a lot of people to participate", he said.

Like this: