New Year's Eve in Vancouver set to be soggy with no chance of ride-hailing
VANCOUVER -- When the clock strikes midnight, bars and clubs around town will be packed with party-goers celebrating the promise of a new year — and when they spill into the streets, jockeying for a limited number of taxis, they may find themselves reflecting on a government promise broken.
"There is still no Uber here which is absolutely terrible. I've been waiting since 2017. The NDP promised that and they said Christmas and now it's New Year's," said Deepak Nayak, as he explained how the lack of ride-hailing options in the Lower Mainland could affect his New Year's Eve plans.
The day began with most of the region under a rainfall warning — and heavy showers expected to continue well into the overnight hours — meaning the wait for taxis could be soggy as well as frustratingly long.
Nayak fears it could lead to violence in places like the Granville Street.
"Think about it," he said. "You've got five guys in one group, five in another and one taxi. Something bad could happen."
Taxi companies will have their full fleets of vehicles on the roads.
And TransLink promises increased service all night long.
Buses, SkyTrain and SeaBus will be free to ride from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Police across the region say there will be a number of road checks set up to catch impaired drivers.
As for when in the new year ride-hailing services could begin operating in the Lower Mainland — Metro Vancouverites might need 2020 vision to answer that question.