NDP mishandling of ride hailing dashes holiday hopes: B.C. Liberals

Peter Milobar

B.C. Liberals are demanding answers as newly-leaked documents from the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) make it clear that under the NDP, ride-hailing will once again not be in British Columbia for the holiday season as promised.

“The latest delay tactic by the NDP means British Columbians expecting ride-hailing by this holiday season are going to be disappointed and left waiting in the cold rather than getting home safe,” said Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Peter Milobar. “John Horgan promised British Columbians real ride hailing, not more excuses and empty promises.”

Last month, the Vancouver Taxi Association filed a judicial review opposing a PTB decision to not limit vehicle caps on ride-hailing fleets. In its response to this concern, the PTB has sent a letter to ridesharing applicants outlining modifications to the application process that will result in further delays for ride-hailing companies wanting to operate in B.C.

“Issues like this are why we advocated for a level playing field for ride-hailing from the beginning. This mess is entirely thanks to the NDP, who have had ample time and input to get it right,” stated Milobar. “As ride-hailing delays grow, [Premier] John Horgan’s promises get emptier and more British Columbians are left in the cold waiting for a ride.”

Passenger Transportation Board letter:

Dear TNS Applicant:

Re: TNS Application Process Modification

I am writing to inform you of a Board decision to introduce an application process modification on TNS applications that will enable submitters to review applicant responses to original submissions as well as the application package itself and provide responses. This change is being introduced for a number of reasons.

The Vancouver Taxi Association and the BC Taxi Association have launched a judicial review into the Board’s operational policy on ride hailing. As well, the Board has received several requests from submitters to hold an oral hearing. The Board has decided not to conduct an oral hearing on your application; however, it has decided to modify its ride hailing application process to provide further disclosure to submitters to ensure transparency in its decision making process.

The Board will provide the following information to all those who sent in submissions on TNS applications:

• The application package, after redacting where necessary to protect confidential business and personal information in the spirit of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act; and

• The applicant’s response to the submissions that were received on their application after redacting where necessary to protect confidential business and personal information in the spirit of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

The Board will send you copies of redacted documents outlined above for your review prior to sending the redacted documents to the submitters on your application. You will have 7 calendar days to respond to the Board with your comments on the proposed redactions before the materials are forwarded to submitters on your applications. The submitters will then be given 14 calendar days to provide any final submissions on your application. Copies of any final submissions will be forwarded to you for your information.

Yours sincerely,

Catharine Read

Chair

Passenger Transportation Board