Uber remains uncertain on any expansion into Vancouver, which will be good news for the taxi industry in the city.
“There’s no date set for launch,” said Michael Van Hemmen, Uber’s public policy manager for Western Canada.
“We’re hopeful to be here as soon as possible but there’s no date set to launch yet.”
Of course, this is nothing new. Of all the cities in Canada, Vancouver has been the most difficult for Uber. Indeed, it is the largest city in North American without the ride-sharing company available to consumers. Van Hemmen was speaking to a Postmedia editorial board this week, which included company spokespeople Susie Heath and Adam Blinick.
Van Hemmen says the company is still waiting for British Columbia to be clear about its ride-sharing adoption in the province. In other words, the company may not agree with the regulatory framework created by the province.
B.C. has taken a longer path to regulating Uber than most provinces. Peter Fassbender, cabinet minister in charge of creating a framework for ride-sharing adoption has said the province will take a unique approach to regulating Uber. He also says the decision on the app will be made before the spring elections.
“As we see progress elsewhere, we’re sharing with political parties here how that progress is made and the outcomes and the benefits that are resulting from that,” said Van Hemmen adding the company had met with all political parties as well as TransLink.
“We want to really compete with car ownership and work with public transit to actually drive more people away from using their personal vehicles to using — not just Uber, because we know that alone won’t be a perfect substitute — it’s car shares as well … and public transit,” said Blinick.
“What we’ve seen in any market is, we’re growing the pie and what we haven’t seen is there be an exit of the market of taxis.”