Uber’s long fought battle for entry into British Columbia is making progress, and it may be rolling out to serve Vancouverites after all.
Transportation Minister Todd Stone, who initially seemed against the ride-sharing app, and launched a crackdown on Uber drivers in 2015, seems to have stepped back in his fight after a series of back and fourth between the province and Uber executives.
“Ride-sharing? It’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when,” said Stone in an interview with The Globe and Mail. “I really think so. If we continue to have the good discussions we’re having both with the taxi industry and the ride-sharing industry, there will come a day in British Columbia where these two industries will co-exist and be able to grow and flourish as long as everyone follows the rules.”
Among all municipalities in the lower mainland, Vancouver has heavily resisted on approving Uber’s entry into the city, but according to Stone, they will have to give in eventually.
Uber still has numerous issues to work out however before it will be eligible to operate in B.C. This includes driver background checks, insurance, vehicle inspections, accessibility of people with disabilities, and additional criteria outlined by the Passenger Transportation Board which regulates the industry.
In the meantime, Vancouver taxi’s are working towards innovating their service, and taking away one of Uber’s competitive advantages with the release of their new app.