Illegal Asian ride-hailing apps making millions, BC Liberals say
Published Tuesday, August 13, 2019 7:35PM PDT
Underground ride-sharing companies are raking in $20 million per year according to the BC Liberals.
“I've spoken to folks in the industry and it's the number that they’ve provided,” MLA Jas Johal told CTV News Vancouver on Tuesday.
He estimates there are five to seven illegal apps, and one of the biggest caters to those who speak Chinese. They serve customers primarily in Vancouver and Richmond.
“The people and demand have gotten ahead of law makers,” said Johal, who represents the riding of Richmond-Queensborough. “That's how big the demand is, folks. So we’ve got to wake up and get this thing done.”
That was a clear shot at the BC NDP, who promised services like Uber and Lyft would be operating legally in the province by now.
“It’s curious how Mr. Johal has gained such intimate details of the revenues from these illegal ride-hailing operations,” said BC NDP MLA Bowinn Ma. “Especially given that the BC Liberals were the ones who allowed such services to proliferate in BC.”
Johal says it’s not illegal to have the apps; it’s when money is exchanged that the law is broken.
The first-time MLA also admits he wishes his party had brought in ride-hailing when it had the chance.
”Probably would have introduced it a year earlier, rather than right before the last election, and ripped that bandage off,” Johal said.