Government defends a ride-hailing approach riddled with barriers

March 28, 2019

VICTORIA, B.C. — Adam Olsen continued to question government today on why it is putting barriers in front of ride-hailing coming to BC when there are ready-made solutions in front of them.

“Myself and six of my colleagues in this chamber spent an incredible amount of time over the past few months working together on a committee to bring forward recommendations based on evidence,”  said MLA Adam Olsen, BC Green spokesperson for transportation and member of the Select Standing Committee. “But I am deeply concerned that the Minister of Transportation dismissed a key recommendation out of hand without considering the advice that we received as a committee.

“The government is refusing to have a real conversation about the best way to ensure a safe regime is established for ride-hailing. Safety is the number one concern for all of us, and those concerns can be met without the prohibitive requirements of a class 4 license, which not only may cripple the ride-hailing industry’s ability to launch in BC, fails to adequately address the hyperbolic safety concerns you hear coming from government.

“Let me be clear, there are alternatives to class 4 that will both enable regular, safe drivers to enter the ride-hailing market and ensure riders that their drivers and the vehicles are well regulations are regulated with their safety in mind. 

“We could establish limits on the vehicles that can be used; requirements that drivers must have perfect driving records; limits on the age of drivers. All of these measures could be built into a regime that established a set a clear set of standards that ensured only drivers who have no history, or likelihood of accidents can be ride-hailing drivers. I don’t understand why the government isn’t willing to have this discussion. I am deeply concerned that the pathway that this government is taking will present an unsurpassable barrier for ride-hailing companies coming to BC.

The BC Greens have been the only party who have consistently brought this issue forward, including introducing legislation three times- April 2016, February 2017 and October 2017- under two governments. The third attempt spurred government to refer the subject to the all party committee, which met again this spring to provide government with specific recommendations on the regulatory regime that would permit ride-hailing to operate in BC.


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