THE Province has hired industry expert Dan Hara to consult with and help prepare the taxi industry for a made-in-B.C. solution to ride-sharing that will allow people to get around more easily, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena announced on Monday.
“People want more options for getting around quickly, safely and affordably, including ride-sharing,” said Trevena. “That’s why we hired industry expert Dan Hara to help us deliver a made-in-B.C. approach to ride-sharing that will keep people safe, and work for all regions of the province.”
Hara of Ottawa-based Hara Associates is an industry professional with 21 years of experience advising government agencies on regulatory and transportation policy. He is renowned for his knowledge of the taxi industry in North America and has undertaken a number of reviews for cities and provinces across Canada as they brought in commercial ride-share services.
“Places that failed to move carefully when they brought in ride-sharing have seen safety issues, unpredictable prices and unstable access to services,” said Trevena. “That’s why we’re bringing in Dr. Hara. His expertise will help British Columbia put a ride-sharing system in place that is fair for workers and businesses, fair for customers, and safe for everyone.”
Hara will finish his work in early 2018. His recommendations will inform how the Province will create a made-in-B.C. system that will provide more choice and convenience for the people throughout British Columbia, as well as modernize safety regulations, vehicle licensing and the six different pieces of legislation that regulates the industry.
The Province’s plan and timeline to bring ride-sharing services into the province will be delivered in 2018 with legislative changes anticipated for the fall.
ANDREW Weaver, Leader of the B.C. Green Party, said that he was very disappointed that the government will not be keeping its promise to bring ride-sharing to British Columbians by the end of this year.
He added: “It has been five years since ride-sharing was first introduced into B.C. There have since been reports that ride-sharing companies are operating without proper oversight, regulation and insurance. Further, all three parties agreed to bring in ride-sharing in the last election and have now had significant time to consult stakeholders and assess the various ramifications of regulating this industry in British Columbia.
“The creative economy and innovation are the future of our province. We cannot be tech innovators if we’re not willing to embrace innovation. As new technologies emerge, government should proactively examine the evidence and openly debate the issue in a timely manner so that we do not fall behind the curve.”
Weaver said that on Thursday, for the third time, he would legislation that would enable ride-sharing to finally operate in a regulated fashion in B.C.
He added: “I hope both parties will take this opportunity to engage in a substantive debate on the details of this issue so that we can move past rhetoric and vague statements and finally get to work delivering for British Columbians.”