Ride-sharing service Uber will operate in B.C. by end of 2017, says minister

An Uber driver sits in his car parked near the San Francisco International Airport parking area in San Francisco, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. British Columbia will allow ride-sharing services like Uber to operate in the province by the end of this year, while introducing initiatives that it says will help the taxi industry modernize and remain competitive.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Jeff Chiu

VANCOUVER - British Columbia will allow ride-sharing services like Uber to operate in the province by the end of this year, while introducing initiatives that it says will help the taxi industry modernize and remain competitive.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone says the province consulted extensively with residents and the taxi industry to create a "made-in-B.C." solution for ride sharing.

The province says it will move to create a level playing field for cab companies, such as investing $1 million in app technology and allowing taxis exclusive rights to street hailing.

More than 80 per cent of delegates at the B.C. Liberal convention last fall supported the creation of ride-sharing legislation.

However, the City of Vancouver has placed a moratorium on new cabs and Uber until this October, with some councillors voicing concerns about passenger safety and protecting the local taxi industry.

Uber has been controversial in other provinces, including Quebec, where a class-action lawsuit filed by taxi companies and drivers against the company was certified in January.


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