Can ridesharing be better for public safety?
As British Columbia has started to consider the promotion of ridesharing apps, a debate has surfaced. Officials in British Columbia express concerns for the needs of the taxi industry, the needs of the consumers, and how ridesharing safety fits into the conversation.
Read more about this in The Province report below.
Will Ridesharing Safety Translate to More Road Safety?
New B.C. Premier John Horgan has been critical of the previous government’s commitment to introduce services like Uber by the end of 2017. Nonetheless, he has simultaneously acknowledged that legalization of such services is on the province’s horizon.
The government of British Columbia has been lukewarm in promoting rideshare apps. In its desire to be fair to the needs of small business owners in the taxi industry, the government is carefully studying the legalization of ridesharing. While the government seems to favor banning the ridesharing apps, this solution can be inconvenient for consumers.
Can Legalization of Ridesharing Promote Safety?
BC gets an early Christmas present, ridesharing services like Uber & Lyft to be legal by December. https://t.co/bPr1YKhZbA
— Colin Fast (@policyfrog) March 7, 2017
Legalization of ridesharing has become a topic of debate in British Columbia. John Horgan, NDP Leader, has claimed that he is pro-ridesharing. However, he simultaneously declares that this liberal plan will ruin small business owners who make a living by driving taxis. His letter, addressed to the minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, calls for a fair approach to ridesharing.
Ridesharing safety has also been an issue. Those who are against ridesharing argue that conventional taxis are a safer option. This is because drivers go through a background check, and there are safety and meter inspections. While their argument is valid, it is beside the point. Studies have shown that it takes an average of 45 minutes for a rider to hail a cab in Vancouver. The waiting time is longest on weekends when people are having their “night out.”
Aside from the impatience or irritation that comes with waiting too long to get a ride, the shortage of ride availability also puts people in danger. For example, some people opt to walk home if they fail to hail a cab after several minutes. This makes them more vulnerable to crime, especially if they are intoxicated. This danger and other potential hazards could be mitigated by a higher supply of drivers — a solution fulfilled by ridesharing.
Business Interest and Consumer Needs
While it’s true that there is a need to protect the livelihood of small business owners, the government of British Columbia must also consider the needs of the riding public. While there isn’t yet a formal study on the impact of ridesharing on impaired driving, they should still consider its potential to save lives and lower the risk of riders becoming victims of crimes. There are also many benefits of ridesharing that the government should consider in light of public interest.
Do you think British Columbia has the right idea about ridesharing safety? Let us know in the comments below!