(Black Press Media file photo)

(Black Press Media file photo)

UPDATE: Transportation minister defends new steps in B.C. ride-hailing application

Changes were made to provide additional information

British Columbians hoping to use ride-hailing for the holidays may be disappointed, as companies now have to submit additional information to be approved.

In a Wednesday bulletin, the Passenger Transportation Board said it will allow applicants’ to view each other’s submissions and provide their comments in a bid to increase transparency.

The application packages will be redacted before they are made available, the board said. Applicants will have seven days to review them. Third parties will be able to give feedback on the applications as well.

On Thursday, Premier John Horgan defended the extra steps, saying that the province is moving as quickly as possible while trying to maintain public safety.

READ MORE: B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Opposition critic Richmond-Queensborough MLA Jas Johal called out the government for stalling on ride-hailing.

“The NDP has modified the application process for one simple reason: to help their friends,” he said. “People are demanding ride-hailing and now face a much longer delay.”

But Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said she’s confident ride-hailing will be here by the end of the year.

“We have 19 companies wanting to operate in B.C., from the big internationals — the Ubers and Lyfts — to Canadian companies, to small companies that want to operate right across this province,” Trevena said.

“They are doing their job, reviewing those applications to ensure everyone is well served — the customers, the drivers, other drivers on the road.”


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