Creating safe and reliable transit options in B.C. is a huge priority for the government. We have commissioned a detailed study by industry expert Dr. Hara, which will be completed in early 2018. We have seen places that failed to move carefully when ride-sharing was initially brought in have safety issues, unpredictable prices and unstable access to services. We are committed to creating a system that is fair for workers and businesses, fair for customers, and safe for everyone. Exerpt from my statement in the debate follows:
The NDP government has said: “We will bring ride-sharing to B.C., and we will do it in the right way. We’re here for a win-win for British Columbians.” We’re going to create a made-in-B.C. solution. What’s critical to that is that it’s going to ensure a level playing field for all service providers and safety for customers. So our plan is not only going to protect jobs — jobs that currently exist in British Columbia, where families are relying on people being employed in that sector. We’re also going to make sure that British Columbians have access to modern ride-sharing services that they expect. … We can’t forget that there are people’s livelihoods at stake here. Thousands of people and families rely on the taxi industry to put food on the table and create a better life for their families.
While this is going to be a long-term policy and a future-looking policy, we’re also committed to doing this as soon as possible. However, we do understand that in the clone speech, the members opposite agreed that this couldn’t be done by the end of this year.
…Recommendations stemming from this consultation will inform the government on the potential direction needed in creating a made-in-B.C. solution for passenger-directed vehicles. What’s really important to us is to make sure that people can get around quickly, safely and affordably. As promised, we’ll be delivering a report by the spring of 2018 with legislative changes anticipated for the fall.