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Province's ride-hailing timeline is a concern, Vancouver city councillor says

Last Updated Dec 3, 2018 at 12:51 pm PDT

FILE- In this Jan. 31, 2018, file photo, a Lyft logo is installed on a Lyft driver's car next to an Uber sticker in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Vancouver City Councillor is calling for mayor to write to the province, urging it to speed up ride-hailing legislation

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Vancouver’s new city council is wading into the push for ride-hailing to be available in B.C. before late next year or in 2020, as is planned by the provincial government.

Councillor Melissa De Genova is introducing a motion in council on Tuesday, and wants the mayor to write a letter pushing for insurance products to be available by April.

“On a good day in Vancouver it’s hard to get a taxi, but when we have cruise ships in town or large, major events, it can be very difficult for people to actually obtain a taxi,” she says.

The province has said ICBC will need until at least the fall of next year to come up with insurance.

Related article: B.C. government introduces ride-hailing legislation

De Genova acknowledges this is a provincial issue, but says it’s also a municipal one.

She cites municipal taxi boundaries as a concern.

“That’s not something that the province actually has the jurisdiction to do without the City of Vancouver changing our own bylaws. We currently have a bylaw in place to allow for taxi cabs to operate in the City of Vancouver and within our boundaries, specifically.”

She believes it’s important for the provincial government to engage with local government on this issue.

Related article: Ride-hailing advocates ‘bewildered’ by B.C.’s implementation plan

While she does support the taxi industry, De Genova says there could be different user groups that draw on it as well as ride-hailing.

“To my understanding, what’s really stalling things and holding things up for ride-share… is the basic insurance that every driver in B.C. requires through ICBC.”

She calls it a collaborative effort, and claims there hadn’t been much work done in past years with the previous municipal government.

“I know that all Councillors have received letters in support of ride-share over the past few months that they’ve been in office, and I’ve certainly been receiving these emails for years since I’ve been in office.”

De Genova hopes her motion will receive unanimous support in council.