VICTORIA – The Green party is taking its third run at bringing ride-hailing to British Columbia, tabling a private member’s bill to pave the way for transportation companies like Uber and Lyft.
Green Leader Andrew Weaver said Thursday the governing New Democrats and Opposition Liberals are failing to deliver on campaign promises made during last spring’s election to have ride-hailing in place by the end of the year.
Weaver said there is support for the service and it can work alongside the taxi industry.
He called on the NDP and Liberals to work together with the Greens to implement ride sharing as soon as possible.
“There’s three-party agreement here,” Weaver said shortly after introducing the bill in the legislature. “So let’s do it. We’ve talked about it for seven years, it’s time to move forward.”
Private member’s bills rarely become legislation and even though ride-hailing has the support of all parties in the legislature, the road ahead does not appear to be clear.
The New Democrats said they need time to study ride-hailing and its impact on the taxi industry before introducing legislation next fall.
Premier John Horgan said at least six pieces of legislation must be amended to make way for ride sharing, including a transportation law that dates back to the 1920s.
Weaver said there is nothing stopping the government from introducing a ride sharing law and making necessary changes as required.
“This is nothing more than an excuse in my view to delay, and I don’t think we need to delay,” he said.
The Liberals said Thursday they like Weaver’s bill but wanted to study it further.
The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade also called on members of the legislature to work together to introduce ride sharing and modernize the taxi industry in a statement it released on Thursday.
“With the fall legislative session now well underway, we urge the provincial government to make immediate, meaningful steps toward greater mobility in our region,” said president Iain Black.
“All three party leaders pledged to pass ride sharing enabling legislation by the end of the year, and we call on the new government to follow through.”