Uber Canada general manager of cities Michael van Hemmen speaks to members of the group Probus in South Surrey/White Rock on Wednesday. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Not giving up: Uber exec to promote ride-sharing at UBCM

A general manager of the company’s Canada arm was on his way to the annual municipalities’ convention

Uber’s fight to bring its ride-sharing services to B.C. is far from over.

A senior executive for Uber Canada told a group of businessmen in the Lower Mainland on Wednesday about the message he’ll promote with municipal politicians at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Whistler this week.

Michael van Hemmen, the general manager of cities for Uber Canada, spoke to the Probus club, a group of professional and retired businessmen in South Surrey and White Rock about the ins and outs of the company that is now available in more than 70 countries, but not the province of B.C.

Prior to his presentation, van Hemmen requested that Peace Arch News not report on what he told the group so that he could be more “colourful” with his remarks. Instead, he offered to do an interview after the one-hour discussion.

“Ride-haring can be a productive part of the transportation mix in B.C. communities – the same with bikes,” he said. “Bike-sharing with our Jump bikes can be part of a sustainable option, sustainable alternative for driving yourself.

“I think what we see is ridesharing being one option people have when people want to get from A to B. Others, like bike sharing, is an option as well where you’re able to get a on a Jump bike and stretch your legs.”

After the Clark Liberal government committed to allowing ridesharing services such as Uber by the end of 2017, the NDP government announced in July that it will not license companies until at least fall of 2019, but will move towards updating its taxi regulations for the new era of smartphone-based ride hailing by adding new taxi licences.

TransLink has been strongly in favour of rideshare services coming to B.C., said van Hemmen, and that Uber hopes the province is able and willing to engage with the company to move more quickly.

Just Posted

Fiscal responsibility key for Mike Wilson, seeking election to Area C director

The decisions made by local government directly impact our community and our quality of life

Paving complete, lines coming to the Malahat this week

$34 million safety project is 95 per cent complete with hope to relieve traffic congestion between Victoria and Nanaimo

A 230-unit housing development for Crofton gets green light from council

Project on Osborne Bay Road would increase population by 30 per cent

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

B.C. man who left hospice to run in upcoming election dies

A week after leaving hospice to go to city hall to declare his candidacy, David Hesketh has died.

Most Read