B.C.’s NDP Premier John Horgan said he intends to bring ride-hailing services this year after an all-party committee released its report recommending very few government restrictions.
“We are committed to get this done,” Horgan said. “I am absolutely confident that ride-hailing will be here in 2019.”
CTV News reported that the committee put forth very few recommendations that would regulate boundaries, fares, number of cars and licencing drivers.
Ride-hailing services currently don’t operate in the province. In fact, Vancouver is one of the largest major cities in Canada that has yet to regulate the service.
B.C. transportation minister Claire Trevena announced legislation that would allow companies like Uber, Lyft and Kater to operate in the province by sometime at the end of this year.
The B.C. NDP government has been criticized for delaying this legislation since it was first announced as part of Horgan’s 2017 election campaign.
Trevena said though that while she intends to review the committee’s report, the government plans to still have drivers require a Class 4 licence.
A Class 4 licence is required to drive taxis in the province, while a Class 5 is the licence held by regular drivers in the province. The latter is what the committee recommended drivers should hold if they want to become a driver for companies like Uber or Lyft when the service is made legal.
“Public safety has to be my No. 1 concern,” she said. “Class 4 is a commercial licence and I think if people are earning money by driving people from point A to point B they should be prepared to make that investment because safety is No. 1.”