While some have predicted Uber will be adopted in British Columbians before Christmas, which is increasingly looking a bold claim. The province has still not drawn up regulations for the ride-sharing industry, while Vancouver has made it clear Uber will not be adopted for at least a year.
The government has long promised a “made in B.C.” solution to the ride-sharing problems, which often leaves the taxi industry disgruntled. This suggests British Columbia can find a solution to keep all parties happy, even if that seems unlikely. It is widely believed that we will have to wait until after the provincial elections to know whether Uber and other similar companies will be adopted.
However, a decision of sorts may have already been hinted at. Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport, and Cultural spoke to CBC’s The Early Edition and said the government is supporting ride-sharing.
“Consumers have told us clearly they want more choice, they want more flexibility,” he said. “They feel like at times they are underserved and so we feel like it’s important that we look at what that might mean for them.”
The B.C. Liberal convention was held over the past weekend and revealed almost 81 per cent of delegates support the idea of ride-sharing regulations. This suggests there is strong support within the provincial government for the adoption of Uber and rival companies like Lyft.
One thing is clear, Vancouver will not be adopting Uber in the near future. The city has been a long-time hold out and has successfully blocked Uber’s expansion. Indeed, it is the largest city in North America without Uber. Vancouver has recently said it will not change its own bylaws until October 2017, stating it was not point making a decision until B.C. has reached its.
Fassbender gave a hint of what some of the legislation will look like, specifically regarding safety.
“We are concerned,” he said. “[We’re] ensuring that we have a fair and level playing field for the existing industry as well.“