Ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft will be legally available in B.C. with insurance by the end of 2019. (Pixabay photo)

Prince Rupert taxi services not worried about ride-hailing services

Ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft will be available in B.C. with insurance by the end of 2019

Prince Rupert’s taxi service providers are unfazed by the possibility of ride-hailing services coming to the city.

“If they come to Rupert, I don’t see it being feasible, but if they do we just have to deal with it,” said Bill Langhorn, manager at Skeena Taxi in Prince Rupert.

READ MORE: B.C. to allow Uber-style ride hailing services to operate in late 2019

On Nov. 19. B.C., Transportation Minister Claire Trevena announced regulation changes that will allow Uber and Lyft-style services to be available in the province. As a part of the changes, insurance for Uber and Lyft drivers will be available by the fall of 2019.

Ride-hailing drivers would also have to get a Class 4 licence to drive for hire, which would include a credit check.

Skeena Taxi is currently the primary taxi service available in Prince Rupert, employing at least 75 drivers on a full or part-time basis as well as six administrative staff.

Langhorn, who has worked for the company for more than 40 years, said if people want access to different services in Prince Rupert, they will get it. However, he said he was confident that Skeena Taxi would continue to satisfy its customer’s needs.

“We’ll do the best we can for as long as we can,” Langhorn said. “We’ve been there 24/7, our phone is always reliable when people call. That’s what we do well.”

One of the advantages apps like Uber or Lyft have over Skeena taxi is the ability to pay for rides by debit or credit as opposed to cash. Langhorn acknowledged that the ability to book a taxi via an application on one’s smartphone can be more convenient for customers as it would let them know how long they would have to wait for a taxi to arrive.

While those services do not currently exist in Prince Rupert, Langhorn said there have been discussions within the company about modernizing to allow debit and credit payments in Prince Rupert. However, since Skeena Taxi drivers are independent operators, they would each have to decide for themselves whether or not to implement the technology.

A booking app is also a possibility in the future, but Langhorn said the company will take its time to ensure it can be implemented in a way that will make economic sense for its drivers.

“We’re shopping for 45 customers because we want to see what’s the most cost effective for them,” he said.

Neither the Prince Rupert Economic Development Office nor the Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce were available to provide comment for this story by deadline.

READ MORE: Late 2019 too long to wait for ridesharing: B.C. Conservatives



newsroom@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rio Tinto responds to U.S. aluminum import tariffs

The tariffs were imposed by President Donald Trump Aug. 6

Coastal GasLink breaks ground on meter station in Kitimat

Meter station marks final point on pipeline that stretches from Northeast B.C.

Oily rain runoff down the drain causes concern for Prince Rupert residents

Immediate action taken to alleviate any concerns, road paving contractor said.

B.C. fish harvesters receive long-awaited details on pandemic benefits

Applications to the $470-million federal assistance programs will open Aug. 24

Repaving coming for two sections of Nisga’a Hwy and Hubert St. in Gingolx

Drivers can expect some minor delays and single lane alternating traffic

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

‘We don’t make the rules’: Okanagan pub owner says staff harassed over pandemic precautions

‘If you have six people plus a baby, guess what? That’s seven’ - West Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s owner

T-Rex earns big bids at B.C. dino auction

Over 500 dino-themed lots sold to buyers from across North America

Remembering Brent Carver: A legend of Broadway who kept his B.C. roots strong

Over the years, the Cranbrook thespian earned his place as one of Canada’s greatest actors

Most Read