More failed NDP promises, B.C. Ride-hailing customers to get less service or no service at all

VANCOUVER (August 28, 2019) – John Horgan and the NDP’s failure to introduce a ride-hailing model based on common sense has left the largest ride-hailing company committed to operating only in Metro Vancouver and warning that there may be fewer drivers thanks to unnecessary licence requirements.

“John Horgan and the NDP flip-flopped on their promise and have betrayed British Columbians by crafting a convoluted framework that picks winners and losers in the marketplace, leaving us with reduced service in Metro Vancouver and no service anywhere else,” said Jordan Sturdy, BC Liberal Transportation Critic. “This is not what people were promised or expecting. The BC Liberals offered a plan that ensured a level playing field for ride-hailing and the taxi industry and would have meant both could thrive, with customers getting better service and more options. Instead, British Columbians are stuck with a plan that will lead to less of both.”

Yesterday, BC Liberal MLA Jas Johal called for the elimination of municipal boundaries for taxis. This move would ensure a level playing field that guarantees the taxi industry and ride-hailing services can fairly compete for customers to provide British Columbians with more transportation options throughout the entire province.

“Ride-hailing and the taxi industry co-exist all around the world, yet here we are in B.C. stuck with a scheme concocted by John Horgan and the NDP that leaves Metro Vancouver with an inadequate service and the rest of the province with nothing,” added Jas Johal, MLA for Richmond-Queensborough. “The largest ride-hailing company in the world has admitted it will only serve one region of the province. The company expects to compete for existing class 4 operators rather than attracting new drivers. At the end of the day, this means fewer services for B.C. customers.”

With unnecessary class 4 drivers licence requirements and different rules for the taxi industry, John Horgan and the NDP have created a situation where B.C. is stuck with the worst-case scenario – a sub-par service, or no service at all. Uber and Lyft, the two largest ride-hailing companies, have both confirmed they will operate only in Metro Vancouver.

“John Horgan’s severe restrictions on ride-hailing ensure that it can only operate in Metro Vancouver, and yet he still expects those of us in rural B.C. to subsidize insurance products for ride-hailing in Vancouver,” added Peter Milobar, MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson. “This September, ICBC rates are going up under the NDP and those of us denied ride-hailing by John Horgan’s meddling will be forking out more just to support ride-hailing in Vancouver.”

ICBC’s filings with the British Columbia Utilities Commission show that when ride-hailing arrives in British Columbia later this year, ICBC will be losing 16 cents for every dollar on ride-hailing insurance. The BC Liberals have twice introduced a bill to ensure full ride-hailing services are available for all British Columbians and there is a level playing field for the taxi industry. John Horgan and the NDP voted against common sense each time.

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