The B.C. government has hired an expert to consult with the taxi industry and extended its timeline for introducing ridesharing legislation, despite an election promise to do so before the end of the year.

“People want more options for getting around quickly, safely and affordably, including ridesharing,” Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said in a statement Monday. “That’s why we hired industry expert Dan Hara.”

Part of Hara’s job will be to help prepare the taxi industry for the introduction of app-based ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft which would compete directly within the B.C. taxi market.

The province said the process will lead to “a made-in-B.C. solution” to an impasse caused by strict regulations at the provincial branch that licenses taxis and the government monopoly on auto insurance, which currently won’t cover vehicles used for ride-hailing.

During his election campaign, NDP leader John Horgan promised to support new ridesharing rules by the end of 2017, as long as they made sure taxi drivers were being treated fairly.

Monday’s announcement, however, means the party will not be able to deliver on that promise. Instead, Hara is expected to provide recommendations early next year. The NDP said legislative changes will not come until at least the fall of 2018.

The NDP said legislative changes will not come until at least the fall of 2018, a move the Opposition said amounts to a broken promise by the government.

“We had a promise that the premier made in the spring that we were going to have rideshare in place by the end of this year,” Liberal transportation critic Jordan Sturdy told reporters Monday. “Clearly, that’s not going to happen.”

A member of Ottawa-based Hara Associates, Hara has more than two decades of experience advising government on transportation policy.

In August, the BC Green Party announced plans to introduce its own ridesharing legislation in the fall.

The NDP responded with a statement that agreed with the need to overhaul B.C.’s taxi regulations, but stopped short of saying they would support the bill, which would need backing from at least one of the legislature’s major parties.

Party leader Andrew Weaver said he still intends to put pressure on the government by introducing his third bill on the subject on Thursday.

With Monday’s announcement, the fate of such a bill remains unclear.

In March, B.C.’s former Liberal government said it would bring ridesharing to the province in 2017.

Christy Clark’s newly elected minority, however, was toppled by a Green-NDP pact soon after the May 9 provincial election.

B.C. is among the last major jurisdictions in North America that has yet to welcome ride-hailing apps.

Uber already operates in 16 Canadian cities, including Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton.

With files from CTV Vancouver’s Bhinder Sajan and The Canadian Press