The BCUC approved the ICBC proposal on a basic insurance product for ride hailing corporations ahead of the anticipated September 16 legalization date.
The BC Liberals found a way to complain about it. The angle? The product is too cheap and other drivers will have to subsidize ride hailing corporations as a result.
This is of course after months of belly aching over the government requiring a class 4 license for ride hailing drivers because it was an expensive barrier to earn a few extra dollars.
But this should come as no surprise from a party that likes to stand on both sides of an issue and would have attacked the NDP no matter how they handled it.
What’s really going on here? The desperate and pathetic flailing by the BC Liberals in frustration as they witness a government getting things done compared to the dithering and triangulation that Campbell and Clark were famous for.
The BC Liberals had every opportunity to enable ride hailing in the last two terms (of the 4 they served) where ride hailing corporations existed. But, no. They went as far as chasing out Uber with legal threats when they began operations without proper authorization from the gov’t.
It was only an 11:58pm conversion in the last few weeks before the 2017 election that the BC Liberals found religion on ride hailing, but even then, they misread sentiment. They still do.
In 2018, a poll discovered that while the public overwhelmingly approved of ride hailing, it wasn’t without limits. They wanted drivers to carry class 4 licenses, wanted limits to how many ride hailers could exist as nobody was looking to put *more* cars onto the already over capacity lower mainland road system.
One of the advantages of waiting as long as we have to get ride hailing off the ground is we get to see what long term trends look like in large cities like Vancouver with the advent of this click-and-ride service.
Studies show that unrestricted ride hailing services adversely affect traffic congestion. So putting a regulatory cap in place on how many may drive for ride hailing corporations would have been wise policy for those cities. Good thing it’s coming for BC.
I’m not saying that I’m in favour or opposed to ride hailing. But if we’re to have it, the drivers should at least play by the same rules we expect of cab drivers they pretend to be.
It’s a newer business model and an alternative to traditional cabbies. But it’s not the answer for traffic congestion or climate change.
Even the Green Party is on the wrong side of history here.