EDITORIAL: Free the Ubers to roam Kamloops and B.C.

Anybody who has stood on a downtown street late on a cold winter’s night knows too well that frostbite could set in before a taxi arrives.

Wait times of more than an hour are common when the bars and pubs close and in the mornings, when commuting to work commences.

article continues below

Kamloops has long been short on fast and reliable transportation service that does not include buses, so it remains frustrating that ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft will not be picking up passengers in B.C. for some time to come.

The B.C. Liberals failed for years to find a way to have such services operate in the province (one of the few places in North America without Uber and company). This week, the provincial NDP government announced a plan to introduce the service in the winter of 2019 — two years later than it has originally promised.

The delay is due to pressure from the taxi industry, which does not want competition in Metro Vancouver.

There is also the matter of all the hurdles Victoria is placing in front of ride-hailing companies’ path to your door.

ICBC has not even started to look at creating a licensing package for the services and won’t until legislation is passed. Yet the Insurance Bureau of Canada said private Canadian insurers in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec have developed insurance products that cover the risk for ride-sharing companies and can “quickly bring these products to B.C.”

The government is also requiring ride-hailing drivers to have class 4 licence, the same required of those who drive large commercial vehicles. Why?

Once insurance is in place, hailing an Uber or Lyft or a locally created Kamuber is no different than calling a friend for a ride. Why successive provincial governments of different political stripes have effectively blocked the service raised interesting questions.

We need more options to get from point A to point B.

© Kamloops This Week

 

KTW Daily News Alerts
KAMLOOPS WEATHER

Question of the Week POLL

What are your commuting plans when the $13-million West Victoria Street reconstruction project begins on April 15?

or  view results

Popular Kamloops This Week

Events Calendar