Ride sharing could be coming to Castlegar

Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft could be coming to Castlegar.

Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft could be coming to Castlegar.

The Government of B.C. announced Monday that it’s hired an expert “to consult with and help prepare the taxi industry for a made-in-B.C. solution to ride-sharing that will allow people to get around more easily.”

“His recommendations will inform how the Province will create a made-in-B.C. system that will provide more choice and convenience for the people throughout British Columbia, as well as modernize safety regulations, vehicle licensing and the six different pieces of legislation that regulates the industry,” reads the province’s press release.

Coun. Deb McIntosh says her only concern is regarding safety.

“Any regulated company that comes in that’s been licensed and [is] above board is a good asset to Castlegar, especially with the shortage of taxis in the area. And transit — not everyone does transit — so having another option is good,” she said. “My only concern about ride shares and companies like Uber is … safety. Safety of the passenger and safety of the driver. So as long as there’s regulations around it and safety is paramount and that they have to follow guidelines like the taxi service.”

McIntosh also said it was important that everything is kept on an equal playing field.

The consultant, Dan Hara, is expected to finish his work in early 2018 and legislative changes are expected to follow in the fall.