Kelowna Coun. Ryan Donn is unhappy the introduction of ride-hailing service is taking so long in B.C. —Image: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Kelowna councillor blasts province for ride-hailing delay

Coun Ryan Donn says he fears services like Uber and Lyft are still a year away in B.C.

A Kelowna city councillor is blasting the province over how long it’s taking to implement ride-hailing in B.C.

Coun. Ryan Donn said he is “very, very frustrated” by Victoria’s pace of progress when it comes to allowing services like Uber and Lyft operate.

It’s not the first time Donn has taken the province to task for dragging its feet in implementing ride-hailing throughout B.C.

“I fear we’re going to be in 2020 before it’s actually going to happen,” said Donn during Monday’s council meeting. “And that’s not acceptable.”

The province has said it will have ride-hailing in place in B.C. by the the fall of 2019. During the last provincial election campaign, the NDP said it would bring in ride-hailing by the end of 2017 if elected.

Donn said the province’s latest call for more municipal input is yet another delaying tactic and said the the government’s refusal to allow the service immediately is putting people’s lives at risk.

He said a shortage of taxis in Kelowna and no alternative service, especially late at night, is putting young people, at risk when they can’t get a ride home.

In its latest call for input from Kelowna, the province asked where ride-hailing should operate, what supply and demand rules should be in place and how much it should cost.

In response, the city says there should be no restrictions on where in the region ride-hailing can operate and there should be flexibility for drivers.

It also says there should be no limit on the number of drivers and that will help at peak times when there are not enough taxis available and price controls should be flexible to allow taxi companies to respond with similar prices.

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