Make no mistake: ride sharing in British Columbia is something that’s much-needed. While other cities like Toronto enjoy the easy access to cars and drivers the way other cities in the United States do, Vancouver and the rest of British Columbia have been left out in the cold by pushback from the taxi industry.
It turns out that Premier John Horgan is at the center of yet another debate over ride sharing in British Columbia, and this time he’s produced a report that critics are saying is a one-sided review not taking into account input from the biggest ride sharing companies – Uber and Lyft.
British Columbia’s Liberal and NDP parties have a long history of standing in the way of ride sharing by siding with the current Taxi industry. The NDP specifically ran on a platform where they said they wouldn’t change any legislation without a review, but the review provided isn’t cutting it for a lot of critics. For their part, the taxi industry is strongly opposed because the drivers feel adding ride sharing in British Columbia would devalue their existing licenses.
But the British Columbia Green party has said they will introduce a private member’s bill to back ride sharing, and this is the third time they’ve tried to get the ball rolling in light of the road blocks from the other parties.
No one knows just how or when ride sharing will come to British Columbia, but there’s no question the province needs it. Companies like Uber and Lyft are well known and extremely popular in other cities, and it’s easy to open an app on your phone and contact a ride sharing service to get a ride after you’ve been drinking on a night out.
More important than the convenience-factor, ride sharing has been proven to stop potential drunk drivers. You can set up a ride before you go out, and that eliminates the hours long wait hours for a taxi that has prompted some to drink and drive in the past.
That’s a big deal in a province where police are chasing a growing impaired driver problem. Isn’t it time all British Columbians had access to ride sharing?