Ahead of the 2017 BC election, Daily Hive has produced seven quick guides to the key issues affecting young voters. To find all the guides and our full BC Election coverage, click here: Battleground BC.
Long story short
Rideshare has been a highly contested issue in BC over the past several years. Demand for rideshare services like Uber and Lyft is clear, but the taxi industry feels threatened. So far, no rideshare companies are permitted to operate here, and there is a severe lack of taxis in cities like Vancouver.
Why does it matter?
Metro Vancouver is the largest metropolitan region in North America without ridesharing, according to Uber. Meanwhile, municipal taxi licensing restrictions have led to a cab shortage, meaning long wait times in rush hour or on Saturday night. With more than 50% of BC’s taxis in Metro Vancouver, many want a cheaper and more convenient option.
What do people want?
An Uber petition to bring rideshare to BC has been signed by more than 74,000 people. Meanwhile, a 2016 survey by the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade (GVBOT) found 80% of its members want BC to introduce regulations allowing rideshare. And, while the taxi industry says it’s not opposed to rideshare, it wants a cap on rideshare drivers.
What does it mean to you?
For many British Columbians, rideshare means convenience. Imagine spending a night out with friends and not having to worry about how to get home at 2 am, when the SkyTrain is no longer operating, and the wait for a cab is over an hour long.
Who’s talking about it?
Uber has also been talking about coming to BC since 2015, targeting ads to British Columbians to make their case. The taxi industry says that, although public demand needs to be met, it should not be done in a way that “destroys the viability of the taxi industry.”
What do the parties say?
The BC NDP tells Daily Hive they will “ensure customers get timely, safe, quality service by harnessing the benefits of ridesharing services to build on the existing taxi system.”
They plan to:
- Create a level playing field for all providers
- Support ridesharing in a way that doesn’t favour one group of drivers over another
The BC Liberals tell Daily Hive they are “committed to helping British Columbians adopt the transportation options of the future.”
They plan to:
- Bring ridesharing to BC by December 2017
The BC Greens tell Daily Hive they are “committed to ridesharing legislation at the earliest possible opportunity upon forming government.”
They plan to:
- Bring ridesharing to BC by fall 2017
The big question
Will rideshare ever come to BC?
To find more quick guides and our full BC Election coverage, click here: Battleground BC.
- BC Election 2017: BC NDP and rideshare in detail
- BC Election 2017: BC Greens and rideshare in detail
- BC Election 2017: BC Liberals and rideshare in detail
- BC Election 2017: Your quick guide to transportation and infrastructure
- BC Election 2017: Your quick guide to technology
- BC Election 2017: Your quick guide to jobs and the economy