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Get rid of caps and boundaries for Uber in B.C., says company

Last Updated Jan 30, 2019 at 9:34 pm PDT

FILE - The Uber logo is seen in front of protesting taxi drivers who were depositing a request for an injunction against the ride sharing company at the courthouse Tuesday, February 2, 2016 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Summary

Uber is making the push to get approval to operate in B.C., but it is making a few demands

Uber says it should not be subjected to geographic and cap restrictions so it can operate as it does in other areas

VANCOUER (NEWS 1130) — Uber’s push to come to B.C. could depend on whether it can operate like it does everywhere else.

A government committee making the rules has heard repeated calls for no caps or geographic boundaries for ride hailing.

Uber’s Michael van Hemmen says rules must be streamlined, so it is easier for drivers to fill empty seats in their cars.

“Over 500,000 tourists and local residents have opened the Uber app between 2015 and 2017,” he says. “Those people want to have the same experience that they’ve had elsewhere across Canada and around the world and we hope the province will establish rules that allow multiple players.”

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He is also asking that would-be drivers only be required to have a standard class five licence, but is not saying what it will take for Uber to bail on BC.

“We would hope it would be possible by the fall. I think British Columbians have waited a long time for rides. I know when I’m out at my kid’s soccer game or out with friends, everyone’s asking me why hasn’t it happened yet. I think people are ready for it to happen,” he says. “Premier John Horgan said that ride-sharing will be here –that Uber specifically will be here before Christmas.”

Uber operates in some places where drivers are required to have a different type of driver’s license, like Alberta where a class 4 is mandatory.

As for any concerns he has about competition from the Surrey-based company Kater, van Hemmen says Uber already has a strong base of potential customers.