NDP leader John Horgan meets with taxi operators in Victoria, October 2014. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

UPDATE: Pressure on John Horgan to protect taxi industry

Claire Trevena announces another study of Uber-style service

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena announced Monday that the B.C. NDP government is hiring an Ottawa-based consultant to study ride sharing, a hot political issue for urban areas as unregulated smartphone services have already started operating in Metro Vancouver.

Trevena said the report by consultant Dan Hara is expected by next spring, and will guide the government’s next moves. During last spring’s election campaign, Premier John Horgan promised ride sharing by the end of 2017, but Trevena said it is a complicated issue with differences around the province.

Trevena indicated that a framework to allow services like Uber and Lyft to operate in B.C. will be in place by the end of 2018. She said she is aware of the demand by urban communities to open up the system because taxis have not provided sufficient service.

Trevena said she had not read Hara’s previous report on ride sharing, done for the City of Vancouver in 2015. A system that works for communities like Campbell River and Quesnel as well as Vancouver is needed, she said.

B.C. Liberal transportation critic Jordan Sturdy said the NDP is breaking an election promise to deliver ride sharing by the end of 2017.

“There’s an assessment, a study, evidently by a gentleman who’s already done a study on exactly this issue, to be delivered some time in the spring, with a potential for legislation next fall,” Sturdy said.

Trevena said there are six pieces of provincial legislation governing the taxi busines, some dating back to the 1920s. B.C. also has a Passenger Transportation Board that administers taxi licences.

Introduction of Uber, Lyft and similar mobile phone-based services has been a divisive political issue, as both the B.C. Liberal government and the NDP have struggled with how to licence the new technology while protecting the taxi industry.

The B.C. Green Party has been demanding action and the other parties stress the need for a “level playing field” with taxi companies who have big investments in vehicle and dispatch systems.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Wounded Warriors team member says PTSD sufferers can heal

Post-traumatic stress disorder fundraising run enters final leg from Nanaimo

Lantzville’s 1935 Seagrave fire truck returning to its California home

A piece of firefighting history from Lantzville will make its way back to Alameda, Calif.

Trailer fire extinguished in Nanaimo

Fire damage limited thanks to neighbour who spotted smoke and called 911

UPDATE: Stolen pickup truck recovered during arrest south of Nanaimo

Two suspects were arrested in connection with a stolen pickup truck in Cassidy on Thursday evening

City to re-name community policing office and keep it open

Council votes 6-2 for city to maintain a presence at Victoria Crescent office

Clippers come back, score in double OT and win 10th straight

The Nanaimo Clippers came back to defeat the Surrey Eagles 4-3 on Friday at Frank Crane Arena

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

OLYMPICS 101: Oldest and youngest Canadian’s to reach the podium

This year, Canada sent its most athletes in Winter Games history, here’s a look at record breakers

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Pieces of litter start to add up

There is so much garbage being littered on the side of the road

Port Alberni to host cruise ships again in 2019

Port Alberni last hosted a cruise ship in May 2013

Four prolific offenders arrested in Port Alberni

Drugs, weapons and stolen property seized in search

Construction set to begin on Nanaimo airport terminal expansion

First phase of construction project to begin in March or April

City will ask citizens, through alternative approval, to borrow $17M for fire hall

City council votes 5-4 to take next steps to proceed with project

Most Read