No free ride for Uber in Township

Froese urged regulation for any ridesharing services in B.C.

  • Dec. 16, 2015 1:00 p.m.

Langley Township has asked the provincial government to regulate ride-sharing firm Uber, but that doesn’t mean they’re eager to see it simply start offering rides.

“It needs to be regulated,” said Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese.

Earlier this month several Lower Mainland municipalities sent letters to the province about Uber and similar ridesharing services.

Uber is an app that allows users to summon a ride. Local drivers, in their own cars, pick up passengers and drop them off. Payments are processed through Uber rather than being directly paid to drivers.

Froese said the municipality has asked the province to look at ridesharing businesses like Uber, but that Uber is no different from any taxi company.

He said there are issues such as background checks of drivers, vehicle inspections, licensing, training, and insurance that all need to be dealt with.

Froese said he believes Uber falls short on those measures right now.

“I think Uber has a long way to go.”

If provincial regulations are changed and ridesharing services are allowed, the Township would treat it like any other cab company.

If a ridesharing service started now without provincial authorization, it would contravene local bylaws, Froese said.

A representative from Uber recently spoke to the Township council.

On Monday, Mohan Kang of the B.C. Taxi Association spoke to the council to urge that Uber drivers be held to the same standards as the rest of the taxi industry.

He pointed out that local taxi firms provide services to people who can’t use an app and credit card, including some seniors, and that local taxi firms have invested in vans that can carry disabled passengers.

“I think that there has to be some sort of regulations,” Kang said.

 

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