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)

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.

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

Just Posted

A second case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at Vernon’s BX Elementary School. (Kerry Hutter photo)
Second COVID case confirmed at Vernon elementary school

Exposure at BX Elementary happened April 6 and 7

Highway 97 being converted to four lanes in April 1990. This photo taken in Lake Country. (Greater Vernon Museum and Archives Photo #14025)
HISTORY: How the old Highway 97 in Lake Country got new name

Pelmewash Parkway recognizes the First Nations history in Lake Country

Salmon Arm Silverbacks defenceman Kieran Ruscheinski (right) sticks close to Vernon Vipers forward Logan Lorenz during Salmon Arm’s 2-1 overtime win in B.C. Hockey League pod play Saturday, April 10, at Kal Tire Place. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)
Mack attack paces Salmon Arm Silverbacks past Vernon

Sullivan Mack scores both goals, including beautiful OT winner, in Gorillas’ 2-1 BCHL pod play win over Snakes

Paddlewheel Park off Okanagan Landing Road, Vernon. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon council looks to address parking shortage at Paddlewheel Park

City staff are looking into short, medium and long-term overflow parking options

(GVMA)
WATCH: A Royal procession through Vernon, 1959

Prince Philip, who died April 9 at 99, visited Vernon on a tour of Canada in 1959

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

Flight with COVID
Another Kelowna flight with COVID-19 exposure

Westjet flight on April 5 from Kelowna to Edmonton

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Most Read