The Government of British Columbia has hired industry expert Dan Hara 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, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena announced today.
“People want more options for getting around quickly, safely and affordably, including ride-sharing,” said Trevena. “That’s why we hired industry expert Dan Hara to help us deliver a made-in-B.C. approach to ride-sharing that will keep people safe, and work for all regions of the province.”
Hara of Ottawa-based Hara Associates is an industry professional with 21 years of experience advising government agencies on regulatory and transportation policy. He is renowned for his knowledge of the taxi industry in North America and has undertaken a number of reviews for cities and provinces across Canada as they brought in commercial ride-share services.
“Places that failed to move carefully when they brought in ride-sharing have seen safety issues, unpredictable prices and unstable access to services,” said Trevena. “That’s why we’re bringing in Dr. Hara. His expertise will help British Columbia put a ride-sharing system in place that is fair for workers and businesses, fair for customers, and safe for everyone.”
Hara will finish his work in early 2018. 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.
The Province’s plan and timeline to bring ride-sharing services into the province will be delivered in 2018 with legislative changes anticipated for the fall.
A copy of the terms of reference can be found on the Passenger Transportation Branch website: http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/rpt/index.htm
A backgrounder follows.
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Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Dan Hara has been providing consultation for vehicle-for-hire regulators through Hara Associates since 1987. Past clients include the cities of Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; San Francisco; Edmonton; Sudbury; Halifax; Calgary; Ottawa; Waterloo; Hamilton; Mississauga, and, outside of the continent, the State of Victoria (Australia) and Saudi Arabia (via Ernst & Young).
Hara has studied other North American jurisdictions and conducted public consultations with stakeholders. His report recommendations cover the full spectrum of vehicle-for-hire regulation, including adequacy of supply, method and number of taxi licences to be issued, fare and meter rates, safety standards and training, enforcement and administration, insurance, cost indexes, information management and new technologies, driver incomes, controls on lease payments for taxi licences and regulator revenue and fee collection. As a result, Hara is intimately familiar with the industry, its players, and the variations in industry practice across jurisdictions.
In B.C., Hara has been involved in taxi regulation for a number of years, particularly in the Greater Vancouver area. He has provided expert testimony before the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) and provincial courts on the issues of suburban taxis and access to the downtown market; the issue of part-time taxi licences in Vancouver; performance standards and adequacy of supply of accessible taxis in the Vancouver area; and the licensing of additional taxis in Richmond.
Hara provided support to the multi-stakeholder, multi-municipality, stakeholder engagement process of Vancouver's 2015 Vehicle-for-Hire dialogue. In addition, studies for other Canadian jurisdictions have required frequently documenting the regulatory approach in B.C. and Vancouver. Hara is familiar with both current regulatory frameworks and enforcement practices, and their development in British Columbia over time.