Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing apps are finally available in Metro Vancouver. It’s a victory for the free market and commuters.
But only sort of.
I was shocked to find out that urbane, hipster Vancouver is just getting access to ridesharing now. Other parts of North America have had Uber for nearly 11 years while in BC, there has been a years-long battle to bring ridesharing to the province facing opposition at almost every turn from everyone but the consumer. It was even a provincial election campaign promise of both the NDP and the BC Liberals in 2017 to allow the service.
However, only one party meant it. The NDP, after wrestling power from the Liberals, went about making it seem like they embraced ride-sharing publicly while protecting the powerful taxi lobby.
When Uber first tried to enter the Vancouver market in 2012, the passenger transportation board invented the rule that required the company to charge at least $75 per ride, just like a limousine!
Now that ridesharing is allowed in BC, the NDP government is requiring drivers hold a Class 4 license, the same ones ambulance drivers have, excluding thousands of potential drivers from eligibility.
The weird rules have a simple explanation:
A BC NDP MLA on the legislature’s ride-hailing committee, Ravi Khalon, has a father who has held a taxis license for decades. Khalon never stepped down from the committee despite his obvious conflict of interest.
Today I have someone on the show who has been trying to bring competition for commuters and remove the ridiculous regulations that are keeping Uber and Lyft drivers out of the marketplace.
My guest tonight is Luis Sandoval of Stranded BC.